Deathcore leaders Suicide Silence recently came out with their third album, The Black Crown, after a two year break. Having previously released The Cleansing (2007) and No Time to Bleed (2009), Suicide Silence find themselves slightly reworking their sound on The Black Crown, tweaking their formula just enough to create a sound that’s more approachable. It still provides the same simplistic brutal chugging that they are known for and execute well, but there is a noticeable parting from their previous albums.
Vocalist Mitch Lucker utilizes mid & high pitch screams more frequently than the guttural growling that was more common in their previous recordings. Drummer Alex Lopez uses blast-beats more effectively and not as often. The guitar work hasn’t changed overall that much from 2009’s No Time to Bleed, but it doesn’t really need to: Chris Gazra and Mark Heylmun clearly understand what gets their audience moving.
One of the most interesting points on the album is “Witness the Addiction”, with guest vocals by Johnathan Davis of Korn. Featuring some solid riffing, it has lyrics that could have been on 2007’s The Cleansing, but Davis’ vocals sound slightly out of place. “You Only Live Once” has one of the best breakdowns of the album, and showcases the gravely spoken-word vocals that Lucker implements more frequently on this album. “Fuck Everything” becomes fairly repetitive by about halfway through, eliminating the suspense that Suicide Silence is typically very good at crafting. “Human Violence”, is a faster track and one of the best on the album. It switches between a hardcore sounding verse and a more typical chorus.
Overall, The Black Crown doesn’t find Suicide Silence re-inventing their sound, just refining it. It’s a crowd-pleaser: older fans will surely be satisfied with the new but not completely different material, and the little changes from their previous albums are sure to garner more fans.