Feb 222013

“Grace” means different things to different people. In the case of Suffocation, it seems to mean guzzling booze, moshing your nuts off, tossing your cookies, and getting your head thoroughly wrecked by a blowtorch blast of death metal. I can get behind that philosophy.

Not long ago the band released their official video for the song “As Grace Descends” from their new album Pinnacle of Bedlam. As for the album as a whole, check out our review here, as well as our entertaining interview with the band’s bass player Derek Boyer. As for this individual song and the video, let’s just say that they’re both badass.

See and hear for yourself right after the jump. Pinnacle is out now on the Nuclear Blast label. (thanks to DGR for the prompt tip about this) Continue reading »

Feb 202013

(Suffocation’s new album Pinnacle of Bedlam is a stunner, but what did you expect? As TheMadIsraeli said in our review of the album, Suffocation “define the three things that make a great band: Consistency, legacy, and relevancy.” We’re honored to present Andy Synn’s interview of Suffo’s uber-bassist Derek Boyer.)

So a couple of weeks back I was asked if I wanted to interview Suffocation… and who could say no to something like that? I wasn’t aware who exactly would be answering my questions, so I tried to make them of a type that could easily be answered by any and all members of the band. In the end it turned out to be uber-bassist extraordinaire Derek Boyer who was tasked with responding to my inane queries, and – all credit to him – he did so in a thoroughly entertaining and really detailed manner.

You’ll notice that I didn’t bother to touch on any of the recent line-up changes, the he-said, she-said back and forth between the band and departing drummer Mike Smith, or even the storm-in-a-teacup that was Fran Mullen’s decision to cut down on his own ability to tour. These have all been covered pretty thoroughly elsewhere, and, as I think you’ll see, it seems like Derek certainly appreciated not being asked about them for the 100th time.

Ultimately, I hope he got some enjoyment out of answering the questions himself, and I hope you all appreciate his answers and his generally very friendly and relaxed demeanour, which really comes across despite the limitations of the email interview format! Continue reading »

Feb 182013

(Below, NCS writer TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Suffocation.)

Suffocation are THE pinnacle of technical death metal.  Every single moment of music they’ve written from Human Waste on has been full of eviscerating brutality, technical instrumentation brought together by one of the best senses of songwriting in the entirety of the genre, and the signature trademarks of Frank “The Tank” Mullen’s vocals, Terrance Hobbs’ indescribable but instantly recognizable brand of riffing, and in this particular case David Culross’s drumming (I think his approach on Despise The Sun was unique, and it definitely sounds like him here). So, the chance to review Pinnacle Of Bedlam was something I leaped at.

In addition to Vader and Dying Fetus, Suffocation are at the head of my trinity of brutality.  No one has EVER matched up to this band’s body of work, not even close.  They define the three things that make a great band: Consistency, legacy, and relevancy.  I don’t think anyone would dare have the nerve to say Pierced From Within sounds old; at least to my ears, that album is as musically current as it ever was, which may raise some questions about the state of modern metal.  What does it mean when many newer bands out now sound older and outdated while certain old school stalwarts still manage to sound not only relevant, but still ahead of the times?  To this day, Suffocation still maintain a commitment to excellence and a standard of quality that exceed that of most other bands.

Pinnacle of Bedlam is the shit.  That’s the essence of what I’m trying to say.  Continue reading »

Jan 142013

As reported in my last post, I’m still droning away at my day job.  But I decided to take another quick break, and lo and behold, look what I found!  Another new song from Suffocation’s next album, Pinnacle of Bedlam, which is due for release by Nuclear Blast on Feb 15 in Europe and Feb 19 in North America.

The new song is called “Cycles of Suffering”, and you can hear it below. It’s a techy flurry of knife-edged riffs and battering drums, with a very cool guitar solo. And Frank the Tank sounds . . . brutal.

To hear the first track released from the album (“As Grace Descends”), go to this page, where the song can also be downloaded.

Dec 142012

As previously reported, the almighty Suffocation have a new album on the way in February via Nuclear Blast. It’s name is Pinnacle of Bedlam. Today, NB began streaming a track named “As Grace Descends”.

I am so damned happy to hear this track. It fulfills fervent hopes. It’s music that both strips flesh from bone and invigorates the mind with a flurry of technical wizardry, interesting drumwork, and a beautiful solo.

Also, Frank Mullen.  Listen:

Nov 302012

Feast your eyes: The artwork for Suffocation’s next album, Pinnacle of Bedlam.

Created by: Raymond Swanland (who did similarly awesome deeds for the likes of Deeds of Flesh and Psycroptic)

Projected release date: Sometime in February 2013

Label: Nuclear Blast

Me:  Having some wood right now.

Is that too much information?

Here’s a nice Suffocation band photo: Continue reading »

Jun 142012

Of course you’ve heard of the forthcoming summer blockbuster movie I Spill Your Guts, directed by James Balsamo and headed your way from Acid Bath Productions, though not to a theater near you.

No?  You haven’t?  Seriously?

Huh.  Well, it includes appearances by Frank Mullen (Suffocation), Oderus Urungus (GWAR), Skeletonwitch, and Andrew W.K.

Still not ringing any bells?  Okay.  Well, the soundtrack will include music from 40 bands, including Suffocation, Ghoul, Cannibis Corpse, and Immersed.

Still clueless?  Well, don’t worry.  The movie looks clueless, too.  But the soundtrack might be cool.  Check out a recently released (revised) official trailer for the movie after the jump, which includes some nice metal, along with a few more tasteful posters. Continue reading »

Apr 262012

That, my friends, is Happy Metal Guy wearing the NCS Fucking Good Pancake Tour shirt with none other than Frank Motherfucking Mullen and Terrance Motherfucking Hobbs of the almighty Suffocation, and the photo was taken in motherfucking Singapore, no less. And that’s not all — not by a long shot.

After the jump, you’ll see photos of Happy Metal Guy, once again looking just smashing in the old massive wall of penis, with members of Nile and Psycroptic. Yes, HMG collared all of these bands yesterday in advance of  the Diablo Open Air Festival in Singapore, which took place on April 26 (Singapore time). He is covering that festival for Teeth of the Divine, and I understand he’ll be meeting up with Arch Enemy by the time you read this. Of course, I expect he will have the same exemplary culinary taste when he dresses for that meeting. UPDATE: HMG did get a quick meet with a few Arch Enemy members, and there’s a pic of him with awesome drummer Daniel Erlandsson and new guitarist Nick Cordle after the jump.

If you don’t immediately recognize the name “Happy Metal Guy”, that’s the pseudonym he uses when he writes for Angry Metal Guy, but he has other names, including a couple he has used when he contributes posts here at NCS (including the “Keyboard Warrior” interview series). He also writes for a bunch of other sites, too — the dude just plain gets around, y’know? But he made me proud wearing the NCS shirt for his meetings with all those big-name metal bands half a world away from where we run this site. So fucking cool.

Also, very fucking cool that none of these bands had HMG ejected from the premises after they saw that shirt.

More fucking cool pics after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Mar 302012

(Andy Synn witnessed the Derby, England stop of the Reborn of Death Tour and apparently was so skull-rattled by the experience that he thought he was at the movies.)

What a line-up, am I right? It’s like a 6-round pummelling before that final knock-out blow. Each band softening you up for another vicious beating by the next. So, still feeling a little punch drunk from the experience, how am I going to manage to review the show for you fine folks?

Through the works of one Mr Sylvester Stallone.

Chronologically speaking, Carceri are the Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6, for those not in the know) of the evening. Definitely the newest act on the block, with a large legacy to live up to. Thankfully, much like their filmic counterpart, they manage to take familiar elements and give them just enough of a modern shine to justify their position. Playing cuts from their new album The Good Must Suffer The Wicked, with a backdrop of dizzying, morbid imagery scrolling and warping behind them, the group deliver an electrifying blend of punchy, mechanical riffage, bone-rattling blast-beats and massive death growls that deftly bears up under the weight of their Oscar-winning legacy.

Unfortunately, the position of Rocky 5 is occupied by Cerebral Bore tonight, as their brain-mangling death-grind has all the familiar elements and hits all the expected story-beats, but somehow lacks the inherent character and heart in its delivery. The vocals are utterly monstrous, but the drums have an overly-triggered sound that robs them of their brutality, and the bass and guitar never fully lock in correctly. The actors are all present, but something about the story is lacking. Close to the end of the set, however, the band debut a new song that shows real promise, picking up the pace in time for the closing credits. Continue reading »

Dec 292011

(Andy Synn provides an unexpected SYNN REPORT, seizing upon the imminent calendar change to discuss the re-recording of 12 songs by 12 tremendous bands — and of course we’re including the music, which means 24 tracks. Fuck, this would be a mixtape that KILLS.)

So here it is, a surprise Synn Report to finish off the year. Arbitrary though the distinction may well be, the end of the year provides a perfect excuse to attend to a similar theme, the transition from the old to the new – re-workings and re-recordings.

Are they better? That’s an argument for the ages? Are they necessary? Hell, that’s probably an even worse argument to start up…

Primarily, re-recordings serve a twofold purpose – 1. to reinvigorate songs that might otherwise not be getting the set-time they deserve, and 2. – to royally piss off a band’s fan-base. Although there’s a chance that the second isn’t entirely intentional. Still, the re-recorded album courts controversy like almost no other, whether it’s a varied collection of songs that are chosen to receive the treatment, or a full re-recording of an entire album.

The full re-recording of an entire album is clearly the most contentious option, while single track re-recordings are often a much more successful and welcome proposition, most often appearing as b-sides and bonus tracks for the avid collector. The full-album re-recording, however, remains exceptionally and unequivocally divisive, alienating as many old fans as it attracts new ones.

So here’s a list of some of those renewed tracks that I think definitely have something to offer the listener, both old and new. I’m sure I’ll have to turn in my kvlt card after this, for promoting something so new and shiny, but ah well… Continue reading »