Winter 2006 brings you the devastating new release from death metal legends and extreme music pioneers SUFFOCATION, simply titled Suffocation. SUFFOCATION (Frank Mullen - vocals, Terrance Hobbs - guitar, Guy Marchais - guitar, Derek Boyer - bass, Mike Smith - drums) is, simply stated, one of the most influential and emulated bands in the history of extreme metal.
In death metal history, SUFFOCATION stands unique for fusing the technical with the percussive, "older" styles of death metal as well as for being emulated more than any other band. Prior to SUFFOCATION’s formation, death metal used simple structures and repetitive, percussive beats ending in familiar resolutions to sound heavy and dark, but was often shunned by metal audiences as too rudimentary and redundant. SUFFOCATION integrated the style with the sharp, often percussive down stroke rhythms of speed metal and far more complex song structures, a variety of influences, and bizarre, often-contrasting lead guitar.
Shortly after the band's 1990 formation and first demo recordings, SUFFOCATION chose the upstart Relapse Records to release it's first official release Human Waste (Human Waste would be the label's first release as well). Unrelentingly savage, Human Waste saw SUFFOCATION bash out the beginnings of death metal's most visible style, the "New York death metal" combination of blasting grindcore beats and metallic textures. This was only the beginning...
The band made the jump to indie-superpower Roadrunner Records and quickly issued the now classic Effigy of the Forgotten in 1991. Effigy... took the bands design to a whole new level, and brought with it death metal as a whole. To this day, some 15 years later, Effigy of the Forgotten remains one of the most popular, imitated, and crucial records in the entire extreme metal landscape. Comparing a record to the magnitude of SLAYER's Reign In Blood might sound outlandish to some, but the staggering level of influence Effigy... had on the genre made it of equal importance to the international extreme scene. Just as with the rash of Slayer-babies who cropped up following Reign..., literally dozens of bands begged, borrowed and stole from the blueprints SUFFOCATION had laid out.
1993’s Breeding The Spawn followed. Breeding... built on the foundation of Effigy... and, in particular, saw the development of Frank Mullen into arguably the most-powerful death metal vocalist in the genre. Blast-furnace vocal power, of the likes not seen before, made many of his contemporaries seen foolish in comparison. After the release of Breeding..., SUFFOCATION hit the road for months on end, bringing their live performances to their devoted legions of followers and hordes of wide-eyed new devotees, all the while developing and honing their live performance into jaw-dropping levels of impact and excellence.
In 1994, drummer Mike Smith left SUFFOCATION for other musical endeavors and was replaced by Doug Bohn. This lineup recorded 1995's Pierced From Within. Despite the descent of the metal world both commercially and artistically, Pierced... was yet another step forward musically for the band. For SUFFOCATION's dedicated legions, Pierced... represented the next level of stylistic achievement, and despite the shrinking genre, was widely regarded with Effigy...as one of the genre's best works. To this discussions about the genre's best records will easily include both Effigy... and Pierced....
SUFFOCATION embarked on successful headlining tours of Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, playing to thousands and enjoying increased album sales. After these tours, Bohn was replaced by Dave Culross.
In 1998, following a self-imposed three year layoff, SUFFOCATION recorded the five-song Despise the Sun EP. Released on their then-manager's micro-indie Vulture Records. Despise the Sun captured a band in their muscular prime with SUFFOCATION’s most focused, incisive material to date.
Despite Despise the Sun’s powerful testament to death metal design, the EP suffered from the lack of both availability and awareness that its label would provide. In September 2000, Relapse stepped in and reissued Despise the Sun internationally, but internal conflicts forced the band to disband soon after.
In early 2002, rumors of a SUFFOCATION ‘reunion’ began to surface and the death metal world was immediately abuzz with the possibility. SUFFOCATION confirmed their intentions soon afterwards and with a line-up of Mike Smith (drums), Terrance Hobbs (guitar), Guy Marchais (guitar), Frank Mullen (vocals), and Derek Boyer (bass), the band resumed writing and rehearsals and announced that they were back to stay.
Immediately upon the announcement, SUFFOCATION headlined the sold-out 2003 installments of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, Maryland Deathfest and Milwaukee Metalfest(s) to a rousing response. In June 2003, the band unveiled a video for the brand new song "Deceit". The then-unsigned band's video made its world-premier on FUSE's "Uranium" program and, as a testament to their universally-recognized impact on the genre, SUFFOCATION was profiled on both "Uranium" and MTV2's "Headbanger's Ball" before even having label backing. Ultimately though, SUFFOCATION chose to renew ties with Relapse Records and the stage was set.
Souls to Deny, their first full length album in nearly a decade and first full length album for Relapse Records, saw its release in April of 2004. Masterfully controlled yet frighteningly intense, Souls to Deny was a truly devastating display of technical death metal. The bands 'Surgery of Impalement' video landed numerous times on MTV2's "Headbangers Ball", FUSE, Much Music Loud and a host of video programs around the world. SUFFOCATION toured the world-over in support of Souls To Deny, including numerous headlining tours in both North America and Europe as well as exclusive appearances in South America and Japan.
Winter 2006: The legendary SUFFOCATION have come blasting back to the forefront of the genre they helped to create with their new, self-titled full-length. Universally regarded as the best live death metal band in the world, SUFFOCATION captures the intensity of their concert juggernaut and administers a savage, eleven-track beating. As simply stated as the title itself, it's all here; the relentless speed, the surgical precision, the crushing brutality, and the inhuman, genre-defining vocals that have made SUFFOCATION the most influential band in death metal, period. The gods of death metal are back and SUFFOCATION casts their long and storied shadow of influence even farther.
SUFFOCATION has recently finished touring as part of the annual Sthress Tour along with SHADOWS FALL, POISON THE WELL and more. Immediately following their Strhess dates, the band will embark on an 11-city European Tour that includes performances at Up From the Ground Open Air Festival, Mountains of Death Festival and Els Rock Open Air amongst others before returning to the States for a massive fall tour with FEAR FACTORY.