Hymns from the Apocrypha


Another earth-crushing release of the pioneers of North American Technical/Brutal Death Metal!
March 21, 2024

“What does not kill me makes me stronger” is a catch phrase of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (that can be read in his book “Twilight of the Idols”), and it serves to depict all those that find strength to overcome problems hard to deal and follow on. The examples of it are endless, but the most recent is, without a shadow of doubt, the North American Death Metal quintet SUFFOCATION. After entering an excellent era with “Blood Oath” (2009), “Pinnacle of Bedlam” (2013) and “...of the Dark Light” (2017), the band suffered a strong blow when his long-time singer Frank Mullen left the band on 2018 (his final recordings on the band are on the 2021’s live album “Live in North America”). But as one old saying in Brazil expresses, ‘a good goat does not yell’, and gathering the pieces, here they are, back again for another round with their latest album, “Hymns of the Apocrypha”.

The quintet opted to work once more worked with Christian Donaldson (guitarist of CRYPTOPSY and a known producer who previously worked with THE AGONIST and KATAKLYSM, to name a few) on the production, mixing and mastering (with the guitarist and founder Terrance and the bassist Derek working on the recordings, and Dom Grimard as assistant on the mixing). All efforts were done to create a defined and understandable sonority for the album, but using the nasty instrumental tunes that the quintet is used to have, and boosting its weight and aggressiveness, and it’s an excellent result. The classic Death Metal artwork for the cover is a creation of Giannis Nakos (who did the layout as well). And seeming as a way to say a final goodbye to the band’s fans, Frank Mullen did the vocals on “Ignorant Deprivation” as guest.

Obviously the main question is how thing are working with the band’s new singer, Ricky Myers (of DISGORGE, and who made live shows with SUFFOCATION when Frank weren’t available). No need to worry, because he has a low tuned grunted tune of vocals, so tings didn’t change that much. And as a pioneer into Brutal/Technical Death Metal, the band didn’t changed i’s ways, besides some refinement can be heard in many moments (as some subjective melodies that binds the brutal technical approach of the band together). In reality, it sounds at the same time as the band’s ways on making music, but on a step ahead on the arrangements. It’s not a sin to say that the older fans will love the album, and it will earn the quintet some new ones for sure.

“Hymns from the Apocrypha” opens the album as a massive and technical Death Metal attack, with many extreme blast beats and broken tempos (showing the weight of the heavy rhythmic artillery of the band); being followed by “Perpetual Deception”, another massive Death Metal bombing that follows the same tendency of the previous song, and where the vocals are really amazing. On the sequence, “Dim Veil of Obscurity” depicts some Jazz-like arrangements on the guitars, with catchy guitar riffs and nasty leads (it’s not a mere coincidence that elements on the band’s guitars Brutal/Technical Death Metal depictions of what players as Allan Holdsworth gave to the world); and “Immortal Execration” has excellent rhythmic contrasts (where the guitar leads are nasty and sick), and “Seraphim Enslavement” is in such sick and brutal way.

“Descendants” is filled with a disgusting and renewed energy (boosted by sick and technical instrumental arrangements that enable the vocals to be pushed hard to its extremes), with “Embrace the Suffering” depicting insane and technical rhythms. Using a more slow set of tempos on the beginning, “Delusions of Mortality” is the typical song for banging heads as there no tomorrow (with a massacre of bass guitar and drums on the rhythms). And “Ignorant Deprivation” is in a classic way to what SUFFOCATION is used, and serves to check the differences and similarities of the vocals of Mike and Frank.

“Hymns of the Apocrypha” serves to show that the quintet is alive and still in great shape. So praise SUFFOCATION for another neck-destroyer release!

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"Hymns from the Apocrypha" Track-listing:
  1. Hymns from the Apocrypha
  2. Perpetual Deception
  3. Dim Veil of Obscurity
  4. Immortal Execration
  5. Seraphim Enslavement
  6. Descendants
  7. Embrace the Suffering
  8. Delusions of Mortality
  9. Ignorant Deprivation
Suffocation Lineup:

Ricky Myers - Vocals
Terrence Hobbs - Guitars
Charlie Errigo - Guitars
Derrek Boyer - Bass
Eric Morotti - Drums

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