Suffocation // Hymns From The Apocrypha // Album Review
The Long Island New York brutal death metal legends Suffocation are back once again with the most punishing album of the year!
“Hymns From The Apocrypha” the band’s newest studio album since the release of 2017’s “…Of The Dark Light” has been muchly anticipated.
Smashing onto the scene in the early 1990s they quickly cemented themselves as the new wave of brutal death metal. With their seminal releases such as “Effigy of the Forgotten” & “Pierced from Within” the band spawned a new genre called Slam Death Metal.
Their legendary status is still fundamental today & still one of the biggest current touring death metal bands. Touring with the likes of Incantation, Skeletal Remains & Cattle Decapitation, the band have travelled the globe a million times over spreading their own brand of brutality.
Now they are back to yet again adding another mammoth album to their already brutal discography with “Hymns From The Apocrypha”.
Nine tracks & just under forty-two minutes of some of the best & heaviest material the band have crafted to date.
The album’s opening title track pulls no punches. A sharp & aggressive start of unrelenting blast beats, angler & technical guitar riffing. Vocalist Ricky Myers’s low guttural vocals create a nice blanket of brutality over everything.
As the track progresses the band add their great little melodic riffing moments that keep things interesting & give that eerie sound that the band sometimes draws on. Giving the track great texture & pushing it to a higher level.
Follow-up “Perpetual Deception” is one the most barbaric tracks the band have written in some time. And all-out assault on the listener.
A track that would fit perfectly into the band’s “Despise The Sun” era & is a barrage of chunky palm muting riffing. A great & technical performance from drummer Eric Morotti is also on the track.
The double kick power his displays in this track as well as the flourishes he uses in the cymbal work complement the brutality well.
A fat chunky slamming breakdown at the midway point gives the listener a moment to breathe before the band picks things up once again for round two. The brilliant guitar work & interplay between the phenomenal Terrance Hobbs & Charlie Errigo has been a huge highlight of the band in the past 7 years since Charlie joined.
Both guitarists complement each other well & using moments of stop / starting, back & forth riffs really break up the track & again interject these great little moments that make the song memorable.
A track such as “Seraphim Enslavement” shows the ability of Suffocation’s songwriting. A great melding of their core sound but with the technicality of their modern writing. A punishing non stop track which shows for their speed & tightness they are unmatched.
Now the biggest topic with this new album is that it features the bands first recorded appearance of front man Ricky Myers. Ricky has been the band’s live vocalist since 2019. And live he really set in stone his own place within the band & has really captured the ruthless vocal style the band needs. And I can safely say on record he is even more punishing & brutal. Now OG fans of the band might be critical but Myers technical ability on this album really shines through.
The diversity of highs & lows, textual elements he brings to the table feels like a muchly welcomed strong arm to the bands arsenal & he is truly flawless on the record.
Derek Boyer’s punchy bass tone is also all over the record. “Embrace The Suffering” has a nice mix of fast sections & slower, more ferocious moments. And all through this Boyers signature high, piano wire like bass sound really hits well. At moments it really compliments the guitar tone & blends nicely but also given its moment to shine gives a nice higher register for the listeners ears to pick up on.
A great surprise for the album closer is a rerecording of “Breeding The Spawns” – “Ignorant Deprivation” featuring original vocalist Frank Mullen as great treat for the fans. The production on “Breeding The Spawn” wasn’t its best so getting to hear it with a modern Suffocation sound is just fantastic & will also show newer fans to the band some of the unrated early material the band created.
“Hymns From The Apocrypha” is a truly remarkable album.
A band this far into their career are still able to write & self produce might i add a record that challenges even some newer bands is a true feat. The album feels nicely like a great balance between the bands core traditional sound but also pushing themselves constantly forward to still create some of the most inhuman & ruthless music in the death metal genre.
Review: Joseph Mitchell
Hymns From The Apocrypha is out via Nuclear Blast on November 3rd 2023
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
Terrence Hobbs| Guitar
Derrek Boyer | Bass
Eric Morotti | Drums
Charlie Errigo | Guitar
Ricky Myers | Vocals