Suffocation, (Frank Mullen - vocals, Terrance Hobbs - guitar, Guy Marchais - guitar, Derek Boyer - bass, Mike Smith - drums) one of the most influential and emulated bands in the history of extreme music and the pioneers of the now-infamous 'New York death metal sound', return to the Relapse label after releasing the now classic albums Effigy Of The Forgotten (1991), Breeding The Spawn (1993), and Pierced From Within (1995) via Roadrunner Records.
In death metal history, Suffocation stands unique for fusing the technical with the percussive, brutal "older" styles of death metal as well as for being emulated more than any other band. Previous to Suffocation's formation, death metal used simple structures and repetitive, percussive beats ending in extremely recognizable resolutions to sound heavy and dark, but was often shunned by metal audiences as "too rudimentary and redundant". Suffocation integrated the heavier styles of death metal with the muffled strumming and downstroke rhythms of speed metal while introducing far more complex rhythms, a variety of influences, and bizarre, mocking lead guitar. Suffocation's approach was to meld the emotions of hardcore and extreme avantgarde metal into a contexture of intricate conflicting structures through absorption of both to form the ultimate in pummeling, concrete, functional rhythms.