American Deathcore kings Suicide Silence tragically lost their iconic frontman Mitch Lurker back in 2012, his distinct screams and lively stage persona was a defining aspect of the bands identity. The choice to continue on without him would pave for difficult times as the impossible task of replacing Mitch would unsurprisingly cause mixed reactions among fans. 2014's "You Can't Stop Me" featured new vocalist Eddie Hermida and was no stylistic departure but for an old fan of Deathcore it was quite a forgettable record.
Using the self titled card, the band have set out to redefine their sound, much to the disappointment of a quite frankly ludicrous reaction from their "fans". A petition to stop the band releasing this record actually gained traction and signatures within the music community, something Ive never heard of before and is quiet insulting to the band who should never be told what to do with their art. That must be even harder to taste when it comes from within your own fan base. Metal music has always taken quite the beating from the outside world but this is unprecedented.
History and controversy aside this new direction is far from awful but not flattering of these musicians. If I could summarize, Its as if I'm listening to a demo that's got a lot of potential, the elements, ideas and inspiration is all there but it comes together a little flat. So what sort of direction have they taken? Nu-Metal, an instant nose up for some people but its a little misleading, the band have aimed for the more artistic side, were bands like Korn and Slipknot where creating atmospheres of frustration and despair in the creepy moments riddled between bombastic dropped tuning riffs.
Suicide Silence have stripped back that frontal, riff eccentric approach to their sound and although It can still be heard a little in tone, the metallic riffs play second fiddle to noisy dissonance and reverb buried chord picking that has cagey drums and Eddie's unhinged singing forming a fiery emotional atmosphere. It sets the stage for off note, loose and unrestricted ideas to emerge in a constantly tumbling of deranged ideas. Many of which are quite imaginative and of their own identity, although others are distinctly like bands of that bygone era.
Unfortunately these ideas come together with a lack of structure or direction. The bands age would suggest they grew up in the Nu Metal generation and it is great to see they have picked out the lesser explored ideas of that era to go forward with but turning that influence into good songs has not come to fruition. Nothing is bad or awful, in fact there are a lot of intricate, unusual, interesting sounds at work and Eddie's performances are very emotional and grabbing. It just doesn't come together well. No song here creates something powerful as a whole. Even its best riffs fall flat into songs that don't progress with a direction to make anything remarkable of its contents.