Suffocation @ Patronaat, Haarlem, 15 August 2022

Another tour that postponed several times, but finally the mighty Suffocation was touring again in Europe, visiting many summer festivals and adding some club gigs into it as well. They brought three support bands.

The opening band was Frontierer from Scotland. I hadn’t heard of them, they are not on metal archives. Well, I don’t know what style it is. Probably, deathcore, hardcore, noise and other avantgarde stuff. Weird bleeps and percussive riffs. Guttera vocals that don’t really follow any rhythm of the rest of the band. Not anything I enjoy.

Second was the Swedish Humanity’s Last Breath. Another band not on metal archives. Somewhat better than the previous band, still much the same of the percussive riffs and deathcore stuff. I liked some of the drum patters tho. Weird detail is the one of the guitarist was a left-hand player, with a lefthanded guitar, but his strings in reverse (low E string as the bottom string). I guess he learnt to play on a right-handed guitar turned around. Anyway I didn’t really care for this band either.

Rivers of Nihil is a US progressive death metal. Something a lot closer to what I enjoy, but not all that much. I heard one of their albums a couple of years back, but don’t remember much of it. The drummer was of the type more is more. So there was a fill nearly every other measure, and all drum patters were very dense on both snare and symbols. Some of the mixed in vocal variations by the guitarist and bass player sounded interesting, although I’m not sure they were actually sung or playbacked. Some vocals definitively came from a tape as well as other instruments like saxophone.

Then it was time for Suffocation. Starting off with Liege of Inveracity, Effigy of the Forgotten and Catatonia could go wrong any more. They played super tight, all the technical riffs, complex song structures and crazy solo’s, practically faultless. The set was mostly a best-of set focusing on the albums from the 90s. Breeding the Spawn – still one of their best songs, Jesus Wept, Pierced from Within, Funeral inception and of course Infecting the Crypts. Not a lot of surprises there considering what they have played the last couple of years. Nevertheless they are all great songs. After nearly an hour it was time for the encore which came of the awesome post-reunion album Souls to Deny, viz. Surgery of Impalement. Awesome gig.

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