Album Review: Suffocation – Live In North America

Album Review: Suffocation - Live In North America
Reviewed by Daniel Phipps

“This songs all about killing people, cuz that’s what I like to do” I’ve heard that statement a number of times come from Frank Mullen before Suffocation launch into Thrones of Blood and that’s the end of the opening statement from the man to begin Live in North America. Recorded during Frank Mullens final run of North American shows in 2018 Suffocation honour the legacy of one of the greatest frontmen in death metal history with a thirteen track live onslaught.

The track list is of course focused around material from the pre 1998 break up era in which Suffocation released their demo, two E.P.’s and three full length records. There is no point me talking about the tracks on this live record as I can’t possibly say anything that has not been said a million times… however what I will say is the sheer unrelenting power of these live songs is something else, Pierced From Within, Breeding The Spawn, Liege of Inveracity, Funeral Inception I could go on the track list is about as perfect a track list as fans of the band could hope for. When Suffocation do bring out the reunion material such as Dismal Dream which featured on the bands Blood Oath record the result is a furious rendition far superior to the studio version. Franks vocal performance is formidable, I will admit that his final studio effort with the band I was not overly fond of the final vocals however he really brings it on this live record.

Album Review: Suffocation – Live In North America

Now there are area which I feel as a live album Live In North America does not quite hit the mark. For starters where is Franks banter? Anyone who has seen Suffocation with Frank on stage will know that the man had a way with words, my all time favourite moment was at a show in Leicester where prior to playing Breeding the Spawn, Frank advises the crowd that even if his son turned out to be a serial killer he would still be so proud and any parent should be because and I quote “THATS YOUR BOY”. That element of this live record is missing in my opinion. Some of the mid song quotes seem quite obviously cut in, these are very minor issues which you will quickly forget with how brutal these live tracks sound.

If your going out you might as well go out on top and this being the final release to feature Frank Mullen it does that job and then some. These live renditions of classic songs just flat out brutal and proves what an absolute unit of a live act Suffocation are and with the baton now being officially passed to Ricky Myers as the full time live and studio frontman this opens a brand new chapter for the death metal legends.

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