Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 15/4
Written by: MAK on 08/02/2017 13:20:31
The build up to Suicide Silence’s simply self-titled fifth album has been an interesting read on social media. Just over a month ago, we heard “Doris”, and instantly fans were taken aback by three things. The first being the apparent lack of their traditional deathcore stance, having pushed towards a standard metal sound, with the second being the use of clean vocals. But what stood out most was the weird high pitch noise that vocalist, Eddie Hermida made at the beginning of the chorus. This led to a massive overreaction from the internet and incredible ridicule from nearly everyone. Shortly after that, “Silence” was released, which was another stretch away from the sound deathcore fans wanted. This has led someone to even start a petition to make sure the album doesn’t get released, which over 2,000 people have signed. A strong part of me wants to tell all of these people to get over themselves, nobody did this when Bring Me The Horizon changed their style, in an even more dramatic way I might add.
Suicide Silence has actually released a solid metal album, an experimental one, but it shows the depth in their musicianship to not just chug their hearts away. Yes, for the most part, the deathcore part of the band is dead and buried. “Don’t Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself”, which is placed at the back of the album is the only proper old school sounding track. Similar to the down-tuned chugs and riffage that featured on the “No Time To Bleed” album. What it lacks is Mitch Lucker’s vocal savagery; Hermida prefers to roar instead of shriek, which is probably a good thing considering he sounded dreadful on “You Can’t Stop Me” when he attempted the higher pitch screams.
Judging from the songs that have been released already, the Californians have now ventured into using influences that make them sound like an interesting mixture of Korn and Deftones, with a hint of Killswitch Engage in places, especially with the hooks in “Doris”. It’s all about the dark atmosphere that lingers over the album. But musically it’s more “metal”, introducing riffage and grooves to the mix, adding in drumwork that isn't just blast beats or double pedal and the bass heavy rhythms topped off with interesting creepy cleans that sound heavily influenced by Korn’s Jon Davis. “Silence” focuses on that creepy nature, all you would need to do is place Jon Davis’ vocals on them and it would easily be mistaken for a Korn song.
Pushing towards the more experimental side of things, “Run” has to be the most interesting song on the album. For starters, it has a somewhat catchy chorus with some real captivating hooks. That is something I thought I’d never say for a Suicide Silence track. Though it’s an eerie track, for the most part, the verse is sombre and ambient with echoing clean singing, which makes the chorus stand out even more. “The Zero” follows up as a sort of progressive slow burner - this is where the Deftones vibes show their true colours. It’s another sombre track with enticing echoey cleans that give it a misty atmosphere. Midway through it starts to crescendo into a heavier track with some real, Slipknot “Iowa”-like intensity. Hermida unleashes some Corey Taylor-esque “broken man” style screams in the outro laced with deep riffs and drum work hit with real conviction.
Oddly enough, one of the best tracks is “Conformity”, which also follows suit of the slower tracks. These are the ones that are the truly interesting and attention grabbing because all we’ve been used to in the past is the all-out heavy approach from Suicide Silence. This is a full-on rock ballad laced with a hearty southern-rock style guitar solo to really up the ante. The heaviness isn’t gone. “Listen”, for one, is brutal in its own right, and it starts off with pit starting hooks before shifting to the creepy tones that flow throughout the album. But only a couple of minutes in and the riffs get really meaty and Hermida tears his throat screaming with real angst.
“The Black Crown” had the hits, “Fuck Everything” and “You Only Live Once” are now iconic, but as a whole album it was pretty bland and very much didn’t hook you in on a grander scale like “No Time To Bleed” did. “You Can’t Stop Me” had the potential to be great, but Hermida’s vocals were a letdown. If only he stuck to his deeper All Shall Perish style instead of trying to mimic Mitch Lucker. This is what I wished for with this “Suicide Silence”, but instead I’m met with tracks that don’t sound the same, the style shifts with each track, making them unique. I’m left with the wonder of unpredictability for the first time on a Suicide Silence release and I like it.
Come into “Suicide Silence” with an open mind. Perhaps drop the pre-determined negativity on it too before listening because if you want to hate the album and pick holes, you will find things to pick holes at. This is a different side to Suicide Silence and I truly respect them for giving it a go and showing their talents are expansive. As a whole, I found it more enjoyable to listen to than the past two Suicide Silence albums because of the wider range of musicianship and influences. This is a sign of the growth of a band, not a sign of abandonment to fans.
Download: The Zero, Conformity, Run, Silence
For The Fans Of: Korn, Deftones, Killswitch Engage
Release date 24.02.2017
Nuclear Blast Records
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