A Pounding and Expeditious Descent Into Madness
Though death metal is an acquired taste to a great deal of individuals, those who have developed a thirst for audible savagery will see it quenched by Suffocation’s latest release. Of the Dark Light, the band’s eighth studio album, put simply, is a pounding and expeditious descent into madness. The introductory track, “Clarity Through Deprivation,” wastes no time in establishing dominance by means of rapid, percussive immensity from the crushing rhythm section, perfectly complementing Frank Mullen’s guttural vocal style.
The rest of the album is nothing short of a smorgasbord that showcases the type of speed and ferocity in which the old guard of death-metallers can revel, while it also maintains a modern attractiveness with the ever-so-familiar down-tuned guitar and double bass onslaught. The most notable displays of this specific musical approach appear throughout tracks such as “Return to the Abyss,” “Epitaph of the Credulous” and the title track, in particular. Though the aforementioned numbers best highlight the texture of the album, there is no lull in the action, as the rest of the LP has a foundation as solid as steel.
The appeal that Of the Dark Light brings to the table lies in its unpredictability. Tempo changes come quickly, guitar solos appear out of seemingly nowhere and the ride cymbal sounds as if it will be caved in at any given moment. This accumulation of factors serves to keep listeners engaged and banging their heads almost involuntarily throughout the entire 35-minute, nine-track ride. All in all, Of the Dark Light is everything new or perennial death metal fanatics could ask for.