Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S



Suffocation
Blood Oath

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2009
Genre: Death
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • Longtime fans will still find it enjoyable, but I wouldn't expect many new converts



  • Since their reformation in 2003, New York's Suffocation has been pleasing fans of the first incarnation of the band without missing a (blast!)beat. Keeping the lineup from 2006's S/T effort intact, the band have just released their latest foray into soul-destroying sonics with the appropriately monikered Blood Oath.

    The frequent use of slightly more mid-paced tempos continues, but the most noticeable shift has got to be Frank Mullen's vocals, not only due to clarity of production unheard in any previous releases, but also to the fact that he's singing in a noticeably higher and more pronounced register. This already seems to have some death metal purists crying fowl, comparing this current growling to deathcore stylings, and to a certain extent they are right. There even seems to be a faint whiff of –core in the air (well, they are from NY after all!), but these points are marginal and negligible, as Suffocation continue with their varied, spiraling, riff-tastic self-absorption that made the band a mausoleum-hold name to begin with.

    Each song scurries along, adhering to formulae set forth at the band's outset, but blast beats are a bit more scarce than in the past, as well as solos; and when founding guitarist Terrance Hobbs or current co-merchant in six-string slaying Guy Marchais rip into a lead, it's brief and to the point. The title track and "Come Hell or High Priest” are strong efforts consisting of the guys' predilection for technical flair, and "Dismal Dream” wells with all that old-school death metal has to offer. Departing for slower stomping grounds are "Undeserving”, which swells with a lumbering and plodding midsection, and "Provoking the Disturbed”, where things halt for an imposing bass line riff, followed by a more melodic and deliberate guitar solo effort before reenergizing at the outset. A reinterpretation of "Marital Decimation” from 1993's Breeding The Spawn closes out the disc proper, although there are different bonus tracks for different territories, the US version being basically throwaways ("Pray For Forgiveness sans the vox” and a rough mix of "Dismal Dream”).

    Overall though, Blood Oath is a bit of an enigma. The band plies their usual trade of technical death, but there seems to be a lack of potency this time out; the usual intensity that arouses the metal synapses is just not there. Maybe it's due to the slicker production, or the guys are just going through the motions. Whatever the case, longtime fans will still find Blood Oath enjoyable, but I wouldn't expect many new converts with this.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SUFFOCATION
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Blood OathSuffocation
    2009
    Raising Iron8/12/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SUFFOCATION
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Pinnacle of BedlamSuffocation
    2013
    Greg Watson6/14/2013


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SUFFOCATION
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE DEATH STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Syron Vanes
    Chaos from a Distance
    Saxon
    Sacrifice
    Papa Roach
    Metalmorphosis
    Godsmack
    The Oracle
    Ektomorf
    Redemption

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Heidra
    Awaiting Dawn
    Nightwish
    Nightwish
    Plague Throat
    The Human Paradox
    Septicflesh
    Titan
    Grimness
    A Decade of Disgust

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    In Flames
    The Mirror's Truth
    A Sound of Thunder
    Who Do You Think We Are?
    Born of Fire
    Dead Winter Sun
    Armory
    The Dawn Of Enlightenment
    Crimson Shadows
    Kings Among Men

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Hatebreed
    The Concrete Confessional
    Blood of the Black Owl
    S/T
    Redemption
    The Origin Of Ruin
    Junius
    Eternal Rituals For The Accretion Of Light
    Ensiferum
    Victory Songs