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Classic Review: Suffocation - Breeding the Spawn
Breeding the Spawn

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1993
Duration: 35:56
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Breeding the Spawn

Rated 3.76/5 (75.15%) (33 Votes)

Suffocation's second full-length release is generally seen as nothing more than a letdown when compared to the Death Metal perfection that was Effigy of the Forgotten, and I don't think it's completely unfair to say that most of the reason for that is down to producer, engineer and mixer Paul Bagin. The production here is pretty much renowned for being some of the most ruinous to a great Death Metal album (alongside the likes of Malevolent Creations Stillborn, which soon saw those guys unceremoniously dropped from Roadrunner).

Suffocation managed to avoid the cut from the Roadrunner roster in a time when they were dropping Death Metal acts like hot potatoes, and that's surely got to be down to the quality of a lot of the songs that are on offer here. If you can get past the production (which isn't particularly easy at all, but I suggest headphones at a rather loud level to get the best out of it), there is most definitely a great album hiding underneath the mire, with a few touches that sets this album apart from the band's earlier releases. The main ones are a more audible bass sound, which bounds and hammers alongside the inexorable drum battalion to great effect, and the fact that their eye for detail seemed to be reined in slightly, with a ounce more melody pushed into its place. This is not to say the guitar work isn't technical, the guitar still flail about with boundless energy, crashing and spinning in controlled pandemonium — it's just not quite on the same level as Effigy. With that said, inevitably the muddy production always manages to come back to bite them in the butt. The fact that the instruments all sound like they're miles away from each other, having been patched together rather than pulling into a cohesive whole just makes you wonder what Paul Bagin was thinking. More importantly though, how did Roadrunner allow the album to be released in this state?

Upon release, their every step was being scrutinized and compared to Effigy of the Forgotten, thus Breeding the Spawn may have always been destined for comparative failure in many people's eyes, especially when so many people wouldn't even give it a chance due to the mix — it was completely out of the band's hands. Given time, the quality of the music does shine through — it's just rather like watching an awesome blockbuster movie in black and white.

Other related information on the site
Review: Effigy of the Forgotten (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Human Waste (reviewed by Tony Augsburg)
Review: Reincremated (reviewed by Tony Augsburg)
Review: Souls To Deny (reviewed by Chaossphere)
Review: Suffocation (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
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