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Pioneers of technical metal and, arguably, of deathgrind, Suffocation formed on Long Island, N.Y., in 1989 and remained active until 1998, before re-forming in 2003. The band's 1991 debut, Effigy of the Forgotten, is widely considered a benchmark in extreme metal. Not only did Suffocation go where few dared in regards to technicality, unpredictability and overall brutality, singer Frank Mullen's incredibly guttural vocals are the very archetype of the style. Following Effigy, the band put out a pair of full-lengths and two EPs before disbanding. The '03 reunion yielded multiple, much-demanded live appearances (over 400!); new albums Souls to Deny, Suffocation and Blood Oath surfaced in 2004, 2006 and 2009, respectively.

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