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...Of The Dark Light

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...Of The Dark Light
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Genre: Death
1. Clarity Through Deprivation
2. The Warmth Within The Dark
4. Return To The Abyss
5. The Violation
6. Of The Dark Light
7. Some Things Should Be Left Alone
8. Caught Between Two Worlds
9. Epitaph Of The Credulous

Review by Fran on November 20, 2023.

Suffocation’s new record keeps the same style their reunion albums had (2002-present) but at the same time shows some improvements in the production, while the composition remains astonishingly dark, complex, aggressive and well thought as always. Even if it's not perfect -vocals aren't as strong as they were- it's still a pretty enjoyable album. The addition of a new guitarist instead of Guy Marchais gives the album a fresh feeling, specially in the solo section. He is definitely a gifted player but doesn't display excessive wankery, his playing sounds more obscure than technical.

In terms of composition, we have the same old Suffocation: brutal, technical but not so much and definitely evil and demented. There's blasts beats everywhere, heavy breakdowns and perfectly well written solos. Gutturals delivered by Frank Mullen have changed over the years but still are a trademark sound from the band, just as the Suffo blast or Terrance’s solos and riffs. The new guitarist’s solos are a little bit more academic; I heard some sweep picking I bet it's really hard to play but he manages to do it in a gloomy, gnarly fashion that fits the rest of the music perfectly. Production wise, it still sounds pretty modern like the other reunion albums, but this time everything sounds “less digital” than on their previous record; particularly the drumming, that is superb. Drums have a nice acoustic sound, you can hear changes in the dynamics of the player, it sounds human and not over-compressed, which I consider a big plus. The same goes with guitars, that feature a nice, sharp and dirty tube distortion. Bass is present all over the mix, with a nice metallic tone on the high end, also with some slight distortion that perfectly anchors the guitars with the percussive section. Excellent mix.

Overall I wouldn't say this is the band's best record, but it isn't that much below their golden era records, which also speaks well about the band being consistent in each records quality. Pick it up if you're a fan of the genre, after all this band is its godfather. You won't regret.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Review by Adam M on June 23, 2017.

Suffocation bring a brutal style to the table. The riffs here are cavernous and invoke immediate pleasure. However, they aren’t quite interesting enough to completely enrapture the listener. Instead, they weave a slow and punishing aura around you. This is music that makes a jackhammer like presence available.

There is an ability to make for headbanging moods with the music. However, it is not punishing enough to do anything more than that and sticks to a mid temp throughout. This medium pace seems to be what Suffocation enjoys working with and they bring forth an average momentum at most occasions. The guitar riffs are produced fairly clearly to have a moderate impact upon the listener. There isn’t anything to become overly excited about, however, as the music can be slightly generic at times. Don’t think this is at the same level as something like Six Feet Under, however, because this band is more interesting than that. There is brutality present with the band, but they are able to make their songs complex enough that they are quite listenable. This makes for an exciting form of death metal writing. It is quite enthralling to hear a balanced death metal outfit perform to the maximum of their potential. The balance between chaos and technicality makes for something entertaining to listen to at all times. It also offers a well-rounded viewpoint to a band that some people might think is one-dimensional.

The music still isn’t the most varied ever and becomes somewhat monotonous on further listens. Still, there is enough variation to make for a quality death metal effort. Compared to other releases from the genre by the likes of Morbid Angel and otherwise, this stacks up favorably. It doesn’t surpass the best of Morbid Angel, but there is enough to like to make ...Of Dark Light surpass the last couple of efforts from that band.  

Rating: 7.3 out of 10