Suffocation – “…Of the Dark Light” Album Review

“…Of the Dark Light” – Suffocation

Terrence Hobbs and Frank Mullen have been flying the Suffocation flag for nearly 30 years since before the classic Effigy of the Forgotten.  Since 1988, they have reduced barriers to rubble with their unique stamp on brutal death metal.  That includes what I call the “Hobbs’ Hatchet;” riff, that choppy double or triple strike riff that Suffocation has had since day 1….that and the trademark Suffocation breakdown placed periodically within each song.

Furthermore Hobbs’ and Mullen have also managed to include a host of talented musicians within the band since then.  Bassist Derek Boyer (since 2004) maintains a distinct presence both on the Suffocation albums as well as on stage….speaking of which, how the band manages to pull this complex material off on stage is well beyond me. Suffocation is rounded out with drummer Eric Morotti (since 2016) and rhythm guitarist Charlie Errigo (since 2016).

…Of the Dark Light contains nine tracks of highly technical, brutal death metal, the likes of which only Suffocation and a very limited number of their peers can pull off.  The time changes are complex and the over-all song writing is some of the most sophisticated in death metal.  Thankfully, Suffocation have stuck within that realm without going into “math metal.”  Track 9, “Epitaph of the Credulous,” is a re-recording of the track from the poorly mixed Breeding the Spawn album which has finally been given a worthwhile mix.

The technicality of the album reaches ridiculous (in a good way) heights with tracks like “Your Last Breaths” or “Return to the Abyss.”  Speed mixed with breaks and a huge fistful of riffs…all marks of a great Suffocation song.  Moreover, the production is excellent with Frank Mullen’s vocals being given a great mix.

Of the Dark Light is a straight-ahead, zero holds barred, relentless pounding of brutal  and technically skilled death metal.  Not only does Suffocation never disappoint, but they keep getting better with time.  While …Of the Dark Light still bears some of the marks of Effigy… that basically started it all, this record still proves they still have no signs of slowing down nor will they leave any wall not demolished.


  1. Clarity Through Deprivation
  2. The Warmth Within the Dark
  3. Your Last Breaths
  4. Return To The Abyss
  5. The Violation
  6. …Of the Dark Light
  7. Some Things Should Be Left Alone
  8. Caught Between Two Worlds
  9. Epitaph of the Credulous

Of the Dark Light will be available through Nuclear Blast in the following forms: CD, CD Boxset Mailorder edition, also a CD, poster & T-shirt bundle, LPs – colored LP (NB Anniversary green (ltd 300 copies), azure blue (ltd. 300 copies in a gatefold sleeve via , white (ltd. 300 copies), clear w/white and black (ltd. 500 copies worldwide) and on cassette.

Regular CD edition arrives June 9.  Vinyl editions arrive June 16.  Check Nuclear Blast for a ton of Suffocation tour dates.  If you are a fan of death metal, they are a not-to-be-missed experience.

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