Suffocation

Pierced From Within

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Long the connoisseur's death metal band, Suffocation surpasses themselves on Pierced From Within. Fast, intricately technical, immaculately heavy, and well produced, Pierced From Within is an extreme metal landmark, highly recommended for genre newbies and hardcore fans alike. Death metal often gets flak for being one-dimensional and obsessed with mere brutality, but Suffocation has the riffs, textures, and musicianship to give the lie to that complaint, and then some. Doug Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs are the guitar duo from hell, often mentioned in the same breath as Slayer's Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and with good reason too: both are dizzyingly proficient, creating complex, savage riff collages that reveal more of themselves with each listen. Frank Mullen has one of the best growls in a genre where growling is nearly everything. And drummer Doug Bohn's work is masterfully controlled yet intense. The production restores the bass that was noticeably lacking on Breeding the Spawn. Pierced From Within is the high point of Suffocation's acclaimed speed metal-inflected death oeuvre. Too bad they aren't around to better it.

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