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All Music Guide:
Death metal band Suffocation was formed in New York in the early '90s, comprising vocalist Frank Mullen, guitarists Doug Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs, bassist Chris Richards, and drummer Mike Smith. The group's 1991 debut album, Effigy of the Forgotten, became quite influential in the grind/death metal community. Released on Roadrunner Records, it was followed two years later by Breeding of the Spawn. After the issue of the Human Waste EP, Smith left Suffocation and was replaced by drummer Doug Bohn. By 1995, the second lineup had released their first album, Pierced from Within. The band broke up soon after, disheartened by label problems and lack of direction. A mystery album, Despise the Sun, floated around due to record label politics until Relapse finally released it in the summer of 2002. The band re-formed in 2003 and began working on their fourth studio album. The resulting Souls to Deny, which marked the return of original drummer Mike Smith, was released the following year, and effectively ended the group's six-year hiatus. Suffocation's eponymous fifth outing arrived in 2006, and was followed in 2009 by Blood Oath, which marked the band's first official entry in the Billboard charts. Pinnacle of Bedlam, the group's seventh studio album, arrived in 2013.