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No Mercy No Forgiveness
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1. Constant Urge To Kill
2. Force Fed
3. We Long For Your Blood
4. While They Sleep
5. Not The Fallen
6. Holiness Is Next to Filthiness
7. Power Of Submission
8. Taking Life
9. No Purpose In Life
10. Becoming The Nightmare

5 years is a LONG time to wait for a release from a band that's not at the level of Metallica (and evenmoreso if you're actually NOT Metallica)... and while Oakland's heavyhitters Suffokate didn't intentionally prolong the release of their first official full length album, the extended delay has turned the album into one of the most highly anticipated releases amongst the online metal and hardcore communities.

Was it worth the wait? Without a fucking doubt!!

While many may write this off as just another boring rehashed deathcore release with no real creativity in sound or songwriting, there's actually more to it than that for anyone who gives it an actual chance. Unlike the vast majority of Sumeriancore shit that's plaguing the scene with nonstop meshuggah worship, Suffokate has crafted an album that stands on it's own as a solid release despite the impending doom of the deathcore scene as a whole. The biggest reason for this is due to the fact that the band doesn't rely solely on the deathcore template. They actually do incorporate some meshugganic machinations throughout the album (see Constant Urge To Kill at the :45 second mark for one example), but it's nowhere near being overdone, which actually makes it stand out when it IS used. Wearing your influences on your sleeve is ok in some instances, but overall the last thing you want to do as a band (or artist) is sound as much like your influences as humanly possible.

There are also nuances to be found in many of the songs on this album that you may not hear from just a once through. There are underlying melodies that show up consistently through the course of the album that showcase solid songwriting and proper placement. Sure, they may not be the most technical band on the planet, but there's a lot more going on with this record than you can take away from it based on one listen, which is probably all it managed to get from most if not all of it's naysayers and negative critics.

Another huge difference with Suffokate in comparison to their so called peers, is in the fact that their lyrical content is not chock full of religious reference, bible scripture or encouraging people to find a savior. Instead, Suffokate goes for the throat with an extremely hatefilled take on organized religion and the negative influence and impact it has had on society at large. Other topics are covered as well, although I couldn't tell you what exactly because digital advances don't come with booklets or lyric sheets, but rest assured this album is FUCKING ANGRY!! And after having to deal with the Xtian invasion of extreme metal over the last few years, this is a very very welcome return to form.

'No Mercy No Forgiveness' is infinitely better than a large portion of the bullshit that's been released recently by some of the more 'established' bands in the sub-genre. Not only is it heavy, but it's catchy as well. While shitloads of 'tech' bands write hundreds of parts then mash it all together and call it a song, Suffokate's simple but effective song writing style proves that tech isn't everything and that it can easily be outshined by songs that actually flow seamlessly from start to finish.

The 5 years of touring and improving their ability as both musicians and songwriters, not to mention revamping the line up to bring in the members that were necessary to write this album has made it worth the extended wait. It's heavy as fuck, but not to the point of annoyance. There are breakdowns, but not as many as some might like to think and there is definitely no abuse of the 808. And for the record... A slower tempo does not equal a breakdown... it's a called a groove. Wake the fuck up and get into it!!

BOTTOM LINE: Back in the late 80's after Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax had paved the way, there was a second wave of 'Bay Area Thrash' that was headed up by the now legendary San Francisco band Testament. No one can ever replicate that era and no one can take that away from the Bay Area.

20+ years have passed since then...

And history seems to repeat itself, as the same can be said for 'Deathcore', with Oakland's extreme metal kings All Shall Perish being one of the pioneers of the entire Deathcore sound/style. If there is in fact a second wave just around the corner, then leave it to the Bay Area to be the place to kick things off right, and consider Suffokate as the leaders of the next wave.

RATING: 9/11

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No Mercy No Forgiveness