Saturday 25 February 2017

Album Review: SUICIDE SILENCE - Suicide Silence

Suicide Silence - Suicide Silence

1. Doris
2. Silence
3. Listen
4. Dying In A Red Room
5. Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down
6. Run
7. The Zero
8. Conformity
9. Don't Be Careful, You Might Hurt Yourself

I have to confess that I've never been a huge Suicide Silence fan, however I couldn't help but notice the huge internet shit storm surrounding their new single Doris. Thousands of fans have been voicing their disgust over the band's new direction, but it doesn't seem to be producer Ross Robinson's lo-fi sound or slight Nu-Metal tinge that has had them all crying. Instead, it's the presence of a tiny amount of clean vocal in the chorus that appears to be the main target for all the hate. Seriously. The Brutality Police have been all over this one, and I haven't seen this much online rage directed at an Extreme Metal band since Morbid Angel released their highly questionable Illud Divinum Insanus album back in 2011.

Needless to say, I checked out Doris and I actually enjoyed it. That weird little vocal whelp at the start of the chorus that upset the masses gives the song character. It's followed by some Deftones style crooning, which is interlaced throughout the track with the 'business as usual' screaming.

Now the album has landed, and yes, Doris was a good representation of the sound of the whole record. I understand why die-hard fans are upset. Gone is the crisp production of previous releases, and in comes the sound associated with Ross Robinson. I don't think this was a great move. Admittedly, as much as I hated the sound of (the Robinson produced) first Korn album, it was contemporary at the time. That was over twenty years ago though, and this sound has been done to death. It reeks of a band trying to become a little more mainstream and tap more into the fan bases of bands like Slipknot, Soulfly, Korn and Deftones. To my ears Suicide Silence sound dated and desperate. That doesn't mean this won't work out for them though, as I can see this album becoming a huge seller over time.

The songs themselves though are actually pretty good. I'm probably in a minority here, but I quite like lead singer Eddie Hermida's clean vocals, particularly when juxtaposed with his screaming and more harsh percussive styles. The delivery is good but often ruined by too much distortion, thanks to that late nineties style production.

I honestly believe that if this was the new Deftones album, people would herald it as a classic, and say how they have reflected on their early sound but have mixed it with some more aggressive sections making the band as relevant today as they've ever been. Or some shit like that. However, because people expected a certain sound from Suicide Silence, who in fairness have dominated their Death-core niche for some years, there was always going to be a bitter backlash.

It'll certainly be interesting to see if Suicide Silence get bigger, effectively replacing the majority of their fan-base with new people, or if this experiment doesn't pay off and they go back to their old formula and ten years from now refer to this album as their Diabolus In Musica or St Anger.


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