By Jonathan Smith
New York State’s Suffocation don’t waste any time on their latest release, Blood Oath. From the moment it bursts out of the starting gate, the album lumbers along with the death metal/ grindcore sound that has become a trademark of the band. Frank Mullen’s deep death gurgle is front-and-center, being carried along by the rumblings of Derek Boyer’s bass and Mike Smith’s drums. The album is nothing if not consistent, but this is not necessarily a good thing in this case. There doesn’t sound to be anything dramatically new here, and overall the album sounds monotonous compared to the band’s other recent efforts such as Souls to Deny and Suffocation. As a whole, Blood Oath is not a bad listen, but there is a lack of moments that stand out and allow individual tracks to shine on their own merits. This certainly won’t be enough to turn away already established fans of the band, but it’s not an album to use when introducing Suffocation to new listeners.