Hardly anything lasts past 20 years nowadays. That's why it's so impressive that New York death metal icons Suffocation, the architects of essential, seminal albums like 'Pierced from Within' and 'Effigy of the Forgotten,' are still making quality death metal two decades deep into their career. Well, there was that four-year period from 1998 through 2002 when they broke up and went dormant before reuniting to release 'Souls to Deny.' But who's counting? A band that breaks up only to get back together to make physically taxing music immediately commands our respect.

Vocalist Frank Mullen, who barks with a guttural growl and speaks in a thick, "Lawnguyland" brogue, reflected on Suffocation's ability to keep on keep going, telling Noisecreep, "The new album is called 'Blood Oath' and that means that we took an oath 20 years ago, to death metal and to play brutal music, and to never change our passion for this music. What keeps us going and writing music is the passion we have for death metal. We started this band for the brutal music and anything [else] that has come has been a bonus."

Lucky for Suffocation, the 'bonus' Mullen speaks of includes respect, iconic status and reverence from fans and fellow musicians. Can't ask for anything more than that. Here's to another 20 years of death metal madness courtesy of Suffocation.

Mullen also said, "I think all of our albums are sick, so to say this it is the best, I don't know? We go into every album with the confidence that it's the sickest thing we've ever done."