Over a decade ago, Suicide Silence became one of the first to pioneer the metalcore community through their powerful performances and cutting edge take on the scene. They quickly began making a name for themselves with hard-hitting tracks such as “Unanswered“, “Disengage” and “You Only Live Once”.
Tragically, in 2012, a fatal motorcycle crash took the life of lead vocalist Mitch Lucker, all too soon. Less than a year later, the remaining members of Suicide Silence made the consequential decision to move forward – bringing in Eddie Hermida formally of All Shall Perish as a replacement. Their forth album, 2014’s You Can’t Stop Me, was the first recorded with the new frontman, paying homage to the band and even featured some of the final writings of Lucker (r.i.p).
In 2015, Suicide Silence decided it was time to stop touring and start writing new music for their 5th album. They were immediately approached by producer Ross Robinson “The Godfather of Nu Metal” whom insisted on a collaboration with the group. Initially, it was a dream come true for the entire band who immortalized Robinson for his legendary work with some of their biggest musical influences including Korn, Deftones, and Slipknot. He encouraged Suicide Silence to experiment – getting in touch with their alternative roots but more so the darkest part of themselves.
Unfortunately, humans in general do not like change and judging by the like to dislike ratio on YouTube, people are mad as hell over the newest Suicide Silence album, released just last month via Nuclear Blast Records. The self-titled album veers far off course from their original style, lacking to maintain the respect of their veteran fans. Less than 5,000 copies of the record were sold in the first week – in comparison to their prior album that’s a 70% decrease in sales and fans. This shift has sent a majority of their followers into a frenzy of negative feedback, hateful comments, mixed reviews and at one point a petition for the album not to be released at all.
“Doris” kicked off the controversy debuting earlier this year. The music video, which I had thought, was an awesome concept, consists of a 360° interactive music video filmed during the band’s performance at Knotfest 2016. This virtual experience switches back and forth between being on stage with the band, to an impressive wall of death and several circle pits in a sea of people. Legitimately, the song starts with a strong intro and gets the adrenaline pumping. However, at the 1:01 mark, we are introduced to the first of many versions of Eddie’s clean vocals. Such an unexpected surprise. Not necessarily the whole chorus, but this odd..” tee hee” / Michael Jackson whimper-really catches you off guard. Literally, throws it all off, and continues more than it should throughout the track. The more you listen to it – the more it kinda grows on you.”Doris” really isn’t a bad song for the type of music it is. …But wtf and why?
“Silence“, the second single to be released, endured even more backlash, doubling in dislikes. The intro starts with crunchy riffs but soon after mellows out into Eddie’s wails and moans with a Jonathan Davis /Chino Moreno inspired tantrum, which seems to continue throughout most of the record. “Listen” has one of the best opening intros of all the tracks, supported by groovy squeals and great chord progression by Mark Heyman and Chris Garza, meshing deathcore and nu metal together. “Dying in a Red Room” holds a darker tone, again lead by clean vocals, the first of the 2 ballads of the album. It has a good flow, and actually is a decent song despite going on and on aimlessly.
“Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down” in my opinion should’ve been one of singles, redeeming as one of the heavier songs. but even still gets repetitive . “Run” is ambient and moody with a catchy chorus, one of the more tolerable clean vocal tracks. “The Zero“, ominous and depressing, my favorite of the on heavier songs. “Conformity” the second ballad- goes the route of a Stone Sour Corey Taylor for most of the song. The longest song on the record at nearly 6 minutes. Despite the strange title “Don’t Be Careful You Might Hurt Yourself” – has lots of energy with complex riffs finally closing with a heavy note, this song has the most traces of Suicide Silence. Ending with a happy, yet creepy whistling outro.
Metal will always evolve, every group does, sometimes it takes a few albums to figure out their niche. But what a ballsy move to put this out there. This album is packed with many different elements, layered with flawed falsettos and over flows with off-key cringy cleans. The vocals do have their good points at times and do show a variety of what Eddie could actually do. We all know he’s full of talent from his work with All Shall Perish. Not only with his vocal range but his lyrics and style.
The finished product does seem incomplete, unorganized and with an overall sloppy structure. However, (supposedly) that was the goal! That gritty 90’s production, was on purpose, on top off the underground, garage cover band sound, only to incorporate teases of what Suicide Silence used to be. It’s a shame how they failed on a smoother transition as they abandoned genres, sacrificing their fans. These guys really are treating this as a social experiment, giving the masses something to talk about. This was something they had to do for themselves and could care less for all the hateful hype. Suicide Silence is living the dream and still dreaming. This is the music the band is passionate about making and this is their rawest form – regardless of the decision to keep the band name. Although I’m sure these reactions would be completely different if they had.
The “rebirth” was bound to happen… (bout to drop a bomb on you die hards). Back in the Mitch Lucker days, Suicide Silence was classified as “modern death metal band for a new generation.” Lucker said on the Century Media website that “the band is carving out an abrasive niche of its own.” …”No imitators, no second guessing. I want it to be known,” Lucker says. “It’s the same thing as when you pop in a Korn, Deftones, or Slipknot CD: you know that stamp is there.” There ya go.
So, if you can’t get over it, don’t like it, then start your own band..the album really isn’t as terrible as people are making it out to be, but hopefully, Suicide Silence can incorporate some of the criticisms next time around. In my opinion, they do have all the potential to execute a solid album. Although I won’t be going out of my way to purchase this particular one, I would pay good money to have the “tee hee” clip from “Doris” as a text message notification.
Enjoy it for what it is, give it a chance and see for yourself.
Dying in a Red Room
Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down
Don’t Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself
Genre: Nu Metal/Alternative
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Vocals – Hernan “Eddie” Hermida
Lead Guitar- Mark Heylmun
Rhythm Guitar- Chris Garza
Bass- Dan Kenny
Drums- Alex Lopez