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Suffocation (band)

Suffocation performing on Free & Easy Festival 2014
Background information
Origin Centereach, Long Island, New York, United States
Genres Technical death metal
Years active 1988-1998, 2002-present
Labels Nuclear Blast, Relapse, Roadrunner
Members Frank Mullen
Terrance Hobbs
Kevin Talley
Guy Marchais
Derek Boyer
Past members Doug Cerrito
Josh Barohn
Chris Richards
Doug Bohn
Mike Smith
Dave Culross

Suffocation is an American scalar runs, rapid-fire palm-muting and hummingbird-wing-quick picking into riffs, while opening up rhythmic dimensions and the scope of the blast beat."[1] described Suffocation as "American death metal's most consistent and punishing standard-bearers" and their style as "brutal death metal".[21] According to AllMusic, Mullen is one of the best vocalists in death metal.[4] Decibel Magazine stated: "One of Suffocation’s trademarks, breakdowns, has spawned an entire metal subgenre: deathcore."[16]




Studio albums
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Heat.
US Ind.
Effigy of the Forgotten
  • Released: October 22, 1991
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP, digital download[26]
Breeding the Spawn
  • Released: May 18, 1993
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP, digital download[27]
Pierced from Within
  • Released: May 23, 1995
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP, digital download[28]
Souls to Deny
  • Released: April 27, 2004
  • Label: Relapse Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[29]
  • Released: September 19, 2006
  • Label: Relapse Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[30]
29 29
Blood Oath
  • Released: July 3, 2009
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[31]
135 2
  • US: 5,700+[32]
Pinnacle of Bedlam
  • Released: February 15, 2013
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, CS, LP, digital download[33]
152 2 25 58 197 119
  • US: 8,500+[34]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
Live albums
Title Album details Notes
Close of a Chapter: Live in Québec City
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CD, digital download[35]
  • re-released by Relapse Records on October 27, 2009[36]
Split albums
Title Album details Notes
Live Death
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Restless Records
  • Formats: CD
Extended plays
Title Album details
Human Waste
  • Released: May 1, 1991
  • Label: Relapse Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP, digital download[37]
Despise the Sun
  • Released: April 30, 1998
  • Label: Vulture Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[38]
Compilation albums
Title Album details
The Best of Suffocation
  • Released: January 29, 2008
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[39]
Title Album details
  • Released: July 1990
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS

Music videos

Year Title Directed Album
1995 "Synthetically Revived"
Pierced from Within
2004 "Surgery of Impalement" Adam Wingard[40] Souls to Deny
2006 "Abomination Reborn" Frankie Nasso[41] Suffocation
2009 "Cataclysmic Purification" David Brodsky[42] Blood Oath
2013 "As Grace Descends" Tommy Jones[43] Pinnacle of Bedlam


  1. ^ a b c d Stewart-Panko, Kevin (May 2009). "The Memory Remains: The Making of Suffocation's Effigy of the Forgotten".  
  2. ^ a b c John Bush, Suffocation, AllMusic.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Suffocation history at official Suffocation Myspace.
  4. ^ a b Leslie Mathew, Pierced from Within, AllMusic.
  5. ^ Suffocation: New Audio Interview with Frank Mullen Posted Online - Feb. 7, 2007,
  6. ^ Suffocation Frontman Talks New Album - Mar. 30, 2009,
  7. ^ Suffocation's 'Blood Oath' Lands on Billboard Chart - July 22, 2009,
  8. ^ Stewart-Panko, Kevin (February 2010). "Suffocation; Close of a Chapter—Live in Québec City". Decibel Magazine. 
  9. ^ Scott Alisoglu, The Close of a Chapter: Live in Quebec City,
  10. ^ Suffocation: 'Legacy of Violence' DVD Preview Available - Jan. 8, 2010,
  11. ^ Suffocation Announces Mexico/South America Tour with Napalm Death - Oct. 26, 2009,
  12. ^ Suffocation Confirms Split With Drummer Mike Smith, Taps Dave Culross As Permanent Replacement .
  13. ^ Suffocation: New Album Details Revealed - Sep. 20, 2012,
  14. ^ Kennelty, Greg (January 16, 2015). "SUFFOCATION Demoing A New Record - Metal Injection". Metal Injection. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Eduardo Rivadavia, Effigy of the Forgotten, AllMusic.
  16. ^ a b Lee, Cosmo (September 2009). "Suffocation reclaim their rightful place as kings of death metal". Decibel Magazine. One of Suffocation's trademarks, breakdowns, has spawned an entire metal subgenre: deathcore 
  17. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia, Breeding the Spawn, AllMusic.
  18. ^ William York, Souls to Deny, AllMusic.
  19. ^ Greg Prato, Suffocation, AllMusic.
  20. ^ Alex Henderson, Blood Oath, AllMusic.
  21. ^ Keith Bergman, (Relapse)SuffocationSuffocation ,
  22. ^ a b c "Suffocation - Chart history". Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  23. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  24. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  25. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  26. ^ "iTunes - Music - Effigy of the Forgotten by Suffocation". 1991-10-07. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  27. ^ "iTunes - Music - Breeding the Spawn by Suffocation". 1993-05-24. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  28. ^ "iTunes - Music - Pierced from Within by Suffocation". 1995-05-22. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  29. ^ "iTunes - Music - Souls to Deny by Suffocation". 2004-04-27. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  30. ^ "iTunes - Music - Suffocation by Suffocation". 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - Blood Oath (Exclusive Bonus Version) by Suffocation". 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  32. ^ "Metal By Numbers 8/12: The Chart Gets (ass)Jacked". 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  33. ^ "iTunes - Music - Pinnacle of Bedlam by Suffocation". 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  34. ^ "Metal By Numbers 5/1: Rob Zombie Rats Out the Charts". 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  35. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Close of a Chapter: Live by Suffocation". 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  36. ^ "Suffocation Announces Mexico/South America Tour With Napalm Death". 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  37. ^ "iTunes - Music - Human Waste (Reissue) by Suffocation". 1991-05-01. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  38. ^ "iTunes - Music - Despise The Sun - EP by Suffocation". 2002-04-30. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  39. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Best of Suffocation by Suffocation". 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  40. ^ "Suffocation | Surgery of Impalement | Music Video". Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  41. ^ "Suffocation: 'Abomination Reborn' Video Posted Online". 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  42. ^ "Suffocation: 'Cataclysmic Purification' Video Released". 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  43. ^ "Suffocation: 'As Grace Descends' Video Released". 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
With their debut album,

Suffocation's technical death metal style is influenced by grindcore. The band uses "outrageously guttural vocals with a bottom-heavy guitar foundation, blistering speed, unparalleled brutality and sophisticated sense of songwriting, complex time changes and lead and rhythm guitar acrobatics"[15] and frequent breakdowns.[16]

Musical style and legacy

In January 2015 Suffocation began making posts revealing that they were in the process of recording demos for a new album with a potential release date of late 2015.[14]

Since after the release of Pinnacle of Bedlam in 2013, Lead vocalist Frank Mullen announced that he will retire from full-time touring with the band due to his new job.

In 2012, the band was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and released Pinnacle of Bedlam in February 2013.[13]

In 2008, the band signed to the German Nuclear Blast Records[3][6] and released their album Blood Oath in 2009.[3] The album charted on the US Billboard 200 at number 135.[7] In 2009, Relapse released the live album entitled Close of a Chapter—Live in Québec City, that was previously self-released by the band in 2005.[8][9] The release of a documentary film Legacy of Violence was set for 2010, but has since been delayed.[10] In May 2010, Suffocation toured with Napalm Death in South America and Mexico.[11] In February, 2012, Smith left the band again, to be replaced by Dave Culross.[12]

Mullen and Hobbs reformed in 2003 with Smith, Marchais and Derek Boyer of the bands Deeds of Flesh and Decrepit Birth on bass.[1][3] In April 2004, Relapse Records released Souls to Deny. After the band played more than 400 shows in the United States and Europe including the Wacken Festival in Germany, playing to over 33,000 fans, Suffocation released their self-titled album, Suffocation, in 2006.[3] In 2007, the band was featured in The History Channel's promotional video for The Dark Ages documentary, playing the song "Bind, Torture, Kill".[5]

Suffocation in 2010 (from left: Hobbs, Boyer, Mullen)

Reunion and later (2003–present)

After the following album, Breeding the Spawn, was released in 1993, Smith left the band and was replaced by Doug Bohn.[2][3] The 1995 release Pierced from Within, which received better production than the previous release,[4] was followed by extensive tours in Europe, Canada, Mexico and the United States. In 1998, Suffocation released the EP Despise the Sun via Vulture Records and disbanded soon after. The EP was re-released later in 2000 and 2002 by Relapse Records.[2]

Suffocation was formed in 1988 on Scott Burns at Tampa's Morrisound Studios and released by Roadrunner Records the same year. The album became substantially influential in extreme metal music.[1][2][3]

Early years and the 1990s era (1988–1998)


  • History 1
    • Early years and the 1990s era (1988–1998) 1.1
    • Reunion and later (2003–present) 1.2
  • Musical style and legacy 2
  • Members 3
    • Timeline 3.1
  • Discography 4
    • Music videos 4.1
  • References 5


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