Overall Score: 9/10 Songwriting: 9/10 Musicianship: 8/10 Production: 8/10 Pros: Feels fresh, organic and a big step forward. Cons: One or two songs go on a little too long.
Suicide Silence are one of the most popular bands of the modern Death Metal/Deathcore era, and with popularity comes fans and fan entitlement. Unless you have been living under a rock recently you will know that Suicide Silence have become somewhat of a target for fervent fan outrage over their new musical direction, even to the point that a petition has been signed encouraging their label not to release the album. So here we are, with a review of what is already 2017’s most controversial album.
Firstly I want to say that I think it was a ballsy move for Suicide Silence to self-title their new album, they are embracing their change and the band they have become and I respect that wholeheartedly. Upon listening to the album it is clear that this is not only a change of pace but a natural evolution for them. If you go back and listen to their last 3 records you can join the dots along the way, from the stomp and smash of No Time to Bleed through the experimentation on The Black Crown and even the more straightforward approach on You Can’t Stop Me. It’s all there, the clean vocals and spoken word elements that crept on the last two Mitch Lucker era albums, the softer more intricate musicianship, the soundscapes, it has all built to this.
This album is a living nightmare full of light and dark, and occasionally very very dark. At times it almost feels like the soundtrack to a breakdown…enter Ross Robinson , this album has his fingerprints all over it. You can hear the nods to the albums he has produced scattered throughout, but that is a good thing. You can hear the raw emotions, the desperation, pouring out of this album from every corner. Dying in a Red Room is White Pony era Deftones through and through, Listen and Conformity have traces of Album of the Year Faith No More in them, and Silence, and Run have all the hallmarks of songs that Slipknot never wrote.
This an unhinged album that seems like it shouldn’t exist because like all great art, there are moments where it feels a little bit too raw and voyeuristic, but with anything that means something, it has to come from a place for you to have a real connection to it. This is an album that comes at you from all angles, that is unapologetic in its delivery and will have you coming back over and over again to find all of the things buried inside of it. I listened to it a good few times before writing this review and I’ll probably listen to it a good few times after because it really is that good.
Life is about evolution and art should be the same, it’s unfair of us to expect our favourite bands to stay exactly the same to please us. Suicide Silence have taken a big leap of faith with this album and I believe for the most part it paid off and could spell the start of an exciting new chapter in the band’s career. This feels like the album they should be making at this stage in their career, and I think for the fans that are willing to stick with Suicide Silence and give this album its due then you will be both pleasantly surprised and handsomely rewarded.
Suicide Silence’s new self-titled album is released on the 24th of February through Nuclear Blast Records.