Disclaimer: the following Suicide Silence review does not mention the following; Mitch Lucker, “teehee” or ‘sell-out’.
Lets dive on in shall we?
That infamous single. That chorus. Say what you like about it, but “Doris” certainly grows on the listener with hulking riffs and pulsating drums that really start to sink in after a few listens. There’s plenty of ‘old school’ Suicide Silence flourishes to please an older fan for sure, however the song could be trimmed by a minute or so to keep it tight. Rating: 7/10
Whilst the track starts promisingly with thundering rhythms and Lamb Of God style licks, it quickly meanders through each verse before picking up in time for the chorus. Another difficult listen, Eddie’s vocals are somewhat jarring at times but the unhinged screams and yells salvage a track that feels a tad underwhelming. Rating: 5/10
Kicking off with some fun guitar interplay before a fat Korn-style groove, “Listen” utilizes a quiet to loud dynamic that works fairly decently with a dissonant interlude before heading into a chaotic Slayer-esque, wah drenched solo. Unfortunately the meshing of ideas and off-kilter tempo changes makes the song feel like it’s a patchwork of sounds, rather than a fully realised song- its like there’s two songs trying to push themselves to the front, rather than one single track. Rating: 6/10
Dying In A Red Room
I really like “Digital Bath” by Deftones. I really like “Dying In A Red Room” by Suicide Silence. Coincidence? I think not. Sure, this track may be painfully derivative, but it’s also one of the best songs that showcases Eddie’s voice and the hypnotic musicianship between guitarists Mark Heylmun and Chris Garza. Alex Lopez puts on a very measured performance, but stills throws in a few drum rolls and flourishes to pick up the song’s momentum. If the song featured a few references to Suicide Silence’s previous works/sounds then this would be a real triumph. Rating: 8/10
Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down
Powering into some Slipknot inspired aggression, the track starts off on a strong note. Some tense atonal lead work and rollicking grooves kick into a chorus that features Eddie flat-out wailing- it sounds a little disturbing, yet works surprisingly well. Then out of nowhere comes a gargantuan breakdown ripped straight from The Cleansing– there’s even pseudo-pig squeals and high-pitched screams that are delightfully reminiscent of the band’s earlier albums. The raw and ragged production in this instance helps keep the sound fairly fresh too. Rating: 8/10
Much like “Silence”, “Run” starts off with a pulsating riff before all the low-end nastiness just drops out, that ambles into a chorus that reeks of Korn. The instrumentation isn’t necessarily bad, but it just isn’t all that original, even when the pace picks up. Eddie’s vocals don’t help matters either as he tries a little bit too hard to sound like Jonathon Davis. Rating: 5/10
Building on haunting, spacious guitar work carried on Dan Kenny’s solid bass work, “The Zero” features vocal lines that are part spoken, sung and screamed, before the band launch into their best chorus yet, as Eddie finds a sweet spot between dark melodies and screams. Extra props for the brutal grunts underneath the pre-chorus as well as the duel guitars that trade-off screeching lines. Whilst the crescendo of noise towards the end feels a bit tacked on, this track works surprisingly well. Rating: 7/10
Skilfully picked acoustic guitars introduce the band’s first ballad. Yep, you read that right. There are definite shades of Slipknot or Machine Head’s “Now I Lay Thee Down”, but the band bring just enough eccentricities, such as the jangling bass work and the twisting and spiralling guitar solo, to make the song work in the context of the album. This song also shows Eddie at his most tuneful, as he largely stays clear of the caterwauling that sometimes derails the previous tracks. Rating: 7/10
Don’t Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself
After that brief moment of introspection Suicide Silence tear into a fast thrashy number, replete with blast beats, that feels like it could have been taken from The Black Crown. The soft verse and off-kilter chorus keeps things suitably unhinged, unfortunately it does sacrifice some of the tempo and energy that had been built earlier. The last-minute and a half is then sadly wasted with silly whilstling, rain drop soundbites and a cheeky bell ring at the end. We get it- you trolled us. Rating: 6/10
In all fairness Suicide Silence is nowhere near as bad as the YouTube comments make it out to be- it’s not perfect and there are some cringe-worthy moments, but I wouldn’t start making the St. Anger comparisons. Personally I feel that this album should perhaps be split into two EPs, with the first one containing “Doris”, “Listen”, “Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down”, “The Zero” and “Don’t Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself” to ease listeners into their own brand of nu-metal deathcore (not that this is anything new really). The second EP would contain the other tracks that fans would hopefully be more receptive to as they grow more accustomed to the band’s change in direction following the first EP.
Whilst by no means a bad album, I duly hope that Suicide Silence put the negative experiences and media circus behind them. My real worry for the band is that the poor first week sales and damaged relationship with their peers (i.e. Thy Art Is Murder) doesn’t derail a career that had seen the band go from strength to strength.
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