Can be quite juxtaposed cant it, metal? Put the same album out over and over again and you’re a one trick pony. Try and do something different and you’re bound to be called a sell-out. In fairness this can evidently reign true throughout all genres of music, but is seemingly most prevalent in extreme metal. With this self-titled record; California’s Suicide Silence have taken what you know and expect from the band, and turned it on its head, resulting in an album that has plenty of shock and awe – but thinning insides.
After more than earning his stripes on 2014’s You Can’t Stop Me, vocalist Eddie Hermida is expectedly at the forefront of this direction change, stepping away from ferocious deathcore and instead opting for a sound that falls somewhere in between Korn, Cane Hill and King 810. But while this step is bold and brave, at times it’s equally dumbfounding.
The plodding, progressive tone of ‘Dying In A Red Room’ is languid, with the same being able to be said for ‘Run’ despite its breakdown toward the tail-end of the song, which unfortunately has the sting already taken out of it as a result of the lifeless tones preceding it.
It’s not always slow and monotonous on Suicide Silence though, with a slicing lead guitar section from Mark Heylmun on ‘Conformity’ which proves to be the best 30 seconds on the record while both ‘Doris’ and ‘Listen’ at least pack punches of note in their verses before being let down by sub-par choruses that nod to Korn.
The closest acknowledgement to a Suicide Silence we would expect is on ‘Don’t Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself’ which has by far the most dark, sinister tone on the album. While the title includes a spit at irony, the track also features 20 seconds of nonchalant and somewhat comical whistling to close off the record. Make no mistake about it – Suicide Silence fully expected this record to rub some people the wrong way, and while almost a million miles away from their best work, the courage to take a chance is at least worth some recognition.
Suicide Silence is a brazen attempt at a nu metal record from a band that seemed to have so much more to give to extreme metal. Is there anything to say they will never go back their deathcore roots? No. But judging from this record there’s nothing to say they fancy going back their soon either. In any genre of music, progression is necessary but what seems to have happened here is simple – Suicide Silence are playing career Russian roulette… and they might end up with a bullet in their brain.
Review by Kristian Pugh