|Suicide Silence – ‘Suicide Silence’ (Nuclear Blast Records)|
|Written by Rich Hobson|
|Tuesday, 28 February 2017 04:00|
Love it or hate it, Suicide Silence haven’t gone down the tried-and-tested route for their latest effort. Which is just as well really, as the deathcore game was getting old even back at the start of the decade.
Drafting in the production/mixing talents of Joe Baressi (Kyuss, Every Time I Die, Avenged Sevenfold) and Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot, Deftones), the band have taken their music in an entirely more experimental direction that conjures up more than a wisp of the spectre of nu metal. Kicking off with the divisive ‘Doris’ the band give the listener a pummelling worthy of their back catalogue, only to break into a Deftones-like falsetto vocal that should set alarm bells ringing; if you’re here just for chugga-chug breakdowns and blast-beats, you’re going to have a bad time.
‘Suicide’ introduces the same thuggish riffing for its intro, before plodding into a desolate metal banger that doesn’t sound a million miles away from Korn. Striving to evolve the whole deathcore formula, Suicide Silence buck hard against expectations in their experimentation. This isn’t the sound of a band trying to attract more fans or commercial appeal; this is a band utterly devoted to making a racket on their own terms and smashing as many skulls as they can get their paws on.
Tracks like ‘Dying in a Red Room’ dispense with the band’s heaviness altogether, 4 minutes and 45 seconds of despair and desolation bringing a whole new dynamic to a band whose primary bread-and-butter used to be static breakdowns and death metal growls. They’ve not forsaken the nastiness completely though – that track’s chaser ‘Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down’ cracks open some deathcore claret for pure, unyielding nastiness – pig squeals, juggernaut breakdowns and all.
When the deathcore genre first reared its head, it was easy to dismiss it as the latest in an endless procession of easy-to-adopt identikit metal subgenres. That’s no longer the case with Suicide Silence, an album which challenges its fans twice as hard as it does newcomers and comes across as endearingly honest for all of its eccentricities. Spreading out much further than what can be achieved just in deathcore and nu metal, the band even manage to dredge up tones of Damnation-era Opeth on ‘Conformity’, a bleak and barren march into ballad territory that would have served as an excellent closer (as opposed to the fairly standard deathcore track ‘Don’t Be Careful You Might Hurt Yourself’).
Recent years have shown that a band can do great things when casting off the shackles of precedent and genre-adherence. To Suicide Silence, this album represents a chance to evolve something they helped start a decade ago, a chance to fully utilise their own musical repertoire. For dyed-in-the-wool fans, Suicide Silence is ground-zero for the unwanted changing values that are currently overthrowing the deathcore old guard – that the album is coming from one of the genre’s founding pillars is entirely irrelevant. For the rest of us, this is a fresh take on a divisive genre, an invitation to come in and test the waters for ourselves. Love it or hate it, it is undoubtedly Suicide Silence.
‘Suicide Silence’ is out now.
Suicide Silence play the following dates (with support from Deez Nuts and Venom Prison):
Sunday 19 March- Engine Rooms, Southampton
Monday 20 March - Club Academy, Manchester
Tuesday 21 March - Garage, Glasgow
Wednesday 22 March - O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
Thursday 23 March - Marble Factory, Bristol
Friday 24 March- Koko, London