Saturday, 16 February 2013

Suffocation - Pinnacle Of Bedlam Review

Suffocation - Pinnacle Of Bedlam [Technical Death Metal]

People are coming up with heaps of praise for  this album, the fourth since Suffocation's so-called winning streak after their 6 year long hiatus. While I can see why this is a jizz-inducing effort for long time fans of the band, I can't see new-comers approaching the band with this latest album. Quite simply, everything that's on record has been heard before and after the initial exhilaration (the album is quite brutal), the songs just cease to interest you at all.

Now compare this to other technical death metal albums in recent years; Cryptopsy and Sophicide churned out pretty impressive albums last year, and my personal favourite, Spawn of Possession's Incurso was quite groundbreaking, in that not only were they technically proficient, they were using guitars to induce very impressive sounds, stuff like trying to imitate a snake charmer's flute and transcribing symphonic melodies. On the other hand, Pinnacle Of Bedlam eschews all this for a down-to-earth technical shredfest. The guitars are heavy, guaranteed, but song writing has been compromised for an exhibition of speed and in the long run, this works against the album.

In fact, the only curveball here is an acoustic intro to 'Sullen Days', but the song is badly written as the introduction has a pretty choppy transition to the main song, which turns out to be a mid-tempo death metal track that should act as respite from an otherwise uptempo album, but the result as an aimless song with annoyingly repetitive guitar riffs that do nothing to hold you interest (where is the goddamn groove?). The solos try to have a slow, melodic approach as a way to juxtapose against the chugging riffs, which every other band does anyway. Newcomer Dave Culross simply blast beats and blast beats and, well...

The vocals are pretty much the same stuff you come to expect, eh? One thing has to be handed to this album though; the production is pretty decent, considering that it has the modern, clean approach to metal but still manages to sound heavy, though the drums could do with less reverb and the guitars could be played with a bit more bass. I will admit to finding this album not bad on initial listen, but there is not much else after that and now I find myself hitting the skip button more often.


No comments:

Post a Comment