Weeks before it was even released it seems like people had already made up their mind on the fifth studio album from SUICIDE SILENCE. Lead single Doris resulted in an extreme amount of fan outrage over the band’s change in sound. Countless memes spawned trashing the new sound and some people even began a petition to stop the album from being released. This album that people had not heard was going to be so bad that people felt it should never exist. This kind of idiotic behaviour makes it very hard to not root for SUICIDE SILENCE to prove everyone wrong with this album. So is the album so bad that it shouldn’t be released? Certainly not.
From being one of the biggest names in deathcore, this self titled album does see SUICIDE SILENCE take a significant step away from the genre. There is a very clear nu metal influence all over this album with the sound of early KORN and DEFTONES springing to mind. Eddie Hermida definitely attempts to channel some Chine Moreno with his clean vocals on Doris. Whilst Silence has the sort of eerie sound that was so common on the first KORN album. However it’s not like this is something totally new for the band. These influences could also be found on 2011’s The Black Crown which does make it slightly surprising that fans were so shocked by them being present this time.
So the change in sound certainly isn’t the problem with this album as it is something that has been a part of SUICIDE SILENCE in the past. The album’s biggest problem is that it is just a bit of a mess. Perhaps this was by design. The album has such an unhinged sound, it feels like a band on the edge who could come unravelled at any second. This is an interesting idea in theory but the songs are just all over the place. Eddie Hermida is undoubtedly a fantastic vocalist but his frantic screeches and strained clean vocals here are hardly his greatest strength. The same could be said about the music here. In the past SUICIDE SILENCE have excelled at delivering a crushing onslaught of riffs and that feels very absent here with a few rare exceptions. The music and vocals do help give the album a creepier sound but it just lacks cohesion.
At it’s very worst the album sounds like a bunch of tired nu metal ideas but fortunately it is very rare that things get this bad. The fact the album was produced by Ross Robinson will certainly have lead to some of these nu metal elements being pushed hard. It’s very clear that this album was designed to challenge the listener and many will argue that all good art should do this. There are certainly some very interesting ideas here, Hold Me Up Hold Me Down is particularly nightmarish. But the best moments on the album just feel a little too rare.
The fact that SUICIDE SILENCE really wanted to try something different is admirable. They’ve shown a level of ambition that is rarely found in the deathcore scene. It’s just sad to see them miss the mark this time around. It’s certainly not a terrible album but it just never lives up to the quality SUICIDE SILENCE are capable of. With better execution it could have been something great and perhaps if they give this style another try they could nail it. It’s tough to recommend this album because it is far from great. Suicide Silence is a mess of an album, but it is certainly a fascinating one.
Suicide Silence is set for release on February 24th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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