It's interesting to look back at the high expectations I had for Suffocation in that bleak era of metal. They played an epic show at Coney Island High that April, and broke up shortly thereafter. I have fond recollections of that show. I recall being at the height of my headbanging abilities. One large and immoderate friend of mine was forced to wear a towel as a makeshift neck brace for a week thereafter.
Originally published in Fordham University's the paper, February 1998:
Suffocation Despise the Sun (Vulture Records, 1998)
This EP marks the triumphant return of the heaviest band in existence. Despise the Sun is remarkably different from Suffocation’s last release, Pierced From Within. Suffocation’s last album was recorded on the now popularized Roadrunner Records, and sported an extremely “produced” sound. Despise the Sun is still produced by the prolific Scott Burns, but the rougher production hails back to the days of Human Waste. Overall, the album is less concerned with spectacular and complex riffing, and invokes more of Suffocation’s Grindcore past. In the end I believe a much heavier and raw album is produced, to my utter pleasure. Suffocation’s sound is also rounded out by the drumming of new member Dave Culross, whose amazing kick drum performance makes the percussion that much heavier. The only problem I find on this EP is the fact that solos weren’t recorded on the first four tracks. Considering the melodic and stylistic talent of Terrance Hobbs, I can only assume that this EP was released before the solos were laid down. This problem becomes glaringly obvious, because of the absolutely amazing solo that Terrance plays on the fifth song, “Catatonia.” Aside from this flaw, Suffocation has released an amazing EP. Despise the Sun leaves us hoping that the forthcoming album will be a classic.
3.7 out of 5 ears