Suffocation - Effigy Of The Forgotten
Roadrunner Records
Brutal Death Metal
9 songs (37:27)
Release year: 1991
Suffocation, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Kyle

I’d be surprised if anyone reading this would disagree with me when I say that 1991 was THE pivotal year for Death Metal. Let’s take a look: We’ve got classic albums from Death (Human), Entombed (Clandestine), Atheist (Unquestionable Presence), plus many more, as well as some truly underrated works of Death Metal majesty, such as Darkthrone’s debut and only DM album, Soulside Journey. But in my humble opinion, the absolute best Death Metal album released in 1991 was Suffocation’s crushingly brutal and timeless debut full-length, Effigy Of The Forgotten. Not only is it the album that got me into Death Metal in the first place; it’s still one of the most brutal albums I’ve ever heard (if not THE most). Sure, more brutal music has been produced since then, but Suffocation’s attitude – That sheer “I’m going to stab you in the eye with a rusty steak knife dipped in AIDS-infected blood” mentality – Has never been matched as far as I’m concerned, and never will be matched. Because Suffocation did it first. This is their masterpiece, and it can never be successfully duplicated.

So let’s get right into the music, the cause for all my praise. Simply put, Effigy Of The Forgotten is a collection of some of the most punishing riffs, guttural vocals, and drum patterns ever created. Every single song is nothing short of vicious, inhuman mayhem in audio form, and each track has something to make it unique. Whether it be the un-friggin-believable breakdown in Liege Of Inveracity, the spectacular snare hit patterns on Habitual Infamy, the Teutonic thrashing of Reincremation, or the suffocating (heh) heaviness of Involuntary Slaughter, you will find no weak moments on Effigy Of The Forgotten.

Suffocation’s riffs are usually either tremolo-picked, pulverizing your body like machine-gun fire, or made up of palm-muted power chords, chugging along at a painfully slow crawl, slowly drilling themselves into your brain until that crucial bass drum hit comes in and finishes the grisly job, your skull shattering and your cortex splattering against a cement wall at full force. And the drums! My God, the drums! The snare patterns in particular are incredible and at the time Effigy Of The Forgotten was released, very original. Constant alternation between blast beats and double-time snare hits that abruptly switch from being on and off the beat, added with endless cymbal crashes and the battering double-bass lines make for some of my favorite drumming on any album, ever.

And let’s not forget the remarkable Frank Mullen. Holy hell, this guy can growl. It’s almost as if he’s calling out at you to follow him into the depths of Hell so he can torture you in unimaginable and excruciatingly painful ways. The man is utterly convincing, and when he speaks of maggot-infected corpses rotting the soil and infecting the crypts, I have no doubt in my mind that he has indeed seen these horrible things of which he speaks. No other kind of man could possibly produce such demonic sounds from the depths of his throat than one who has seen unexplainable horrors that mere mortals couldn’t possibly comprehend.

Though I'm not going to write a paragraph on every single song, I must dedicate the final part of this review to my all-time favorite Death Metal track, Infecting The Crypts. Sure, Effigy Of The Forgotten is easily one of the best DM albums I’ve ever heard, but I would’ve probably never picked it up without hearing this song. The riffs... the lyrics… the breakdowns… everything is perfect. The song is eighteen years old, yet nothing else since has mutilated my ears like this small slice of pure brutality. This track is ultimately the reason why I love Death Metal. It’s the song that finally made me understand why Deathcore is an abomination, why every whiney mallcore kid needs to be slapped in the face, and why the general masses are afraid of metal. Because this, my friends, is music to be feared.

This review is exactly 666 words long.

Killing Songs :
All of them will kill you.
Kyle quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Suffocation that we have reviewed:
Suffocation - Pinnacle Of Bedlam reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Suffocation - Blood Oath reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Suffocation - Suffocation reviewed by Dylan and quoted 82 / 100
Suffocation - Human Waste reviewed by Crims and quoted 92 / 100
Suffocation - Souls to Deny reviewed by Alex and quoted 71 / 100
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