Suffocation have returned with their 8th full length album, a pummelling beast of a record, which they have executed with precision and technicality, through Nuclear Blast Records.

Suffocation first introduced themselves to us in 1991 with their debut “Effigy of the Forgotten” and not relaxed a day since.

“… of the dark light” opens with “Clarity through deprivation” and delivers it with a howling lead which seems to stitch the whole track together, against a backdrop of death metal at its most brutal.

“Return to the abyss, is one of my personal favourites from the album, and introduces the listener to a melody which sits side by side, with some thrashy undercurrents, against a pace which isn’t unfamiliar for fans of Suffocation.

“Clarity through deprivation” and the title track are devastating in their deliverance, and Suffocation serve up a new level of technicality for the band, yet keeping their well and truly, tried and tested, brand of modern day apocalypse

The listener really is opened to an onslaught, which only the best death metal bands would get away with, and Suffocation, by no means, disappoint on this level. “Your last breaths” opens with a slow, almost atmospheric introduction and then subjects you to a barrage which will leave your senses battered and bruised.

The drums capture with double bass kicks and blast beats a plenty, and the guitars and bass keep up with a flawless lesson in perfection, and this is all tied together, in a rampaging monster, by some of the finest guttural and demonic vocals, from Frank Mullen, that I have heard in a while.

Suffocation have sculptured their own sound and style, and thankfully, they haven’t deviated from this on this brainchild. Suffocation, I believe, are one of the true masters of death metal, and this will happily, naturally sit within all the classics in years to come.

(8/10 Phil Pountney)