"Derek and Terrance seem to be really into the music, while Guy and Dave just seem to be along for the ride and having fun. Frank gets the job done, but he seems to be doing it out of obligation."
I sat puzzled, of course, at what I had just read. Even more stirring was that three "reviewers" had made similar statements, all with the implication that post 2004 Suffocation was a reunion just for the sake of a reunion. In other words, all natural love and gravitation toward music was gone. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Dull, soulless death metal for the masses (how ironic) and an attempt at riding the veteran band revival trend. Don't get me wrong; everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but how do you surmise Frank's consummate growling is done out of "obligation?" Does that even make any sense? It's like Bruce and Adrian rejoining Maiden for Brave New World simply to go through the motions and leave the studio shrugging their shoulders, discarding the fact that they were integral to one of the most influential metal bands of all time.
That's what I got out of the assertion at least, despite not being the most dedicated and knowledgeable Suffocation fan. To be honest, I've been purposely ignoring the band for the better part of my metal tenure because I was far more interested in Immolation, Diskord, and other names that registered off the "mainstream" radar and brought something "different" to the table. Although Guy and Terrance are indeed innovators with palm-muted, winding guitar riffs, it's been done to death and bores me far more than it should. Pierced from Within and Effigy of the Forgotten are classics in every sense of the word, with incredible artwork, but it's taken me all twenty-two years of my life to give them a chance and, ultimately, a listen.
|This man balances seriousness and hoopla quite nicely.|
Legitimate criticisms like the overproduced aura that constantly ensnares metal bands nowadays and an over-reliance on blast beats are less absurd. Music is entirely subjective after all, and those characteristics aren't for everyone, especially fans drooling for the crunchy, properly-produced Suffocation records of the early and mid-nineties. I, too, find myself in line with the brick-walled productions suck camp, but Pinnacle of Bedlam is still enjoyable with a few truly brain-contorting guitar riffs that gallop, stampede, and showcase unmatchable fretboard dexterity. I have no doubt in my mind that the band is relishing their most recent release and, at the same time, taking their work seriously. Fun and dedication can work hand-in-hand. Metal is one of those places, and Suffocation has the art down to a T.