Overall Score: 9/10 Songs : 9/10 Additional Material: 8/10 Replay Value: 9/10 Pros: A great expanded edition of an influential album Cons: The Instrumental tracks add very little
It’s mind boggling to think that The Cleansing is now 15 years old, and SUICIDE SILENCE themselves are in their 20th year. Vulgar, crass and disgustingly heavy, The Cleansing is everything death metal should be, while also doing everything a great debut album should do, announcing SUICIDE SILENCE‘s arrival in a big way. Listening to it in 2022 after a long period was a very refreshing experience. It’s impossible to listen to this album and hear exactly how influential it was for the burgeoning deathcore scene that followed in its wake and the 1000 bands that plagiarised them and it in the years that followed.
Tracks like Unanswered, No Pity For A Coward & The Price Of Beauty are still absolutely crushing, the latter in particular being one of the album’s highlights. Girl Of Glass and Eyes Sewn Shut are complete mad eyed lunacy, leaving us feeling like we’re being stabbed in the ears with a rusty knife.
Destruction Of A Statue became one of the album’s stand out tracks and was a live staple for years to come and for good reason. It’s a frenzied and unhinged way to end the album with the band sounding like they are playing rusty chainsaws in the rivers of Hell.
The Cleansing is an album that has aged incredibly well. It’s hilariously heavy in places, and the lyrics are genuinely gnarly. From a production standpoint everything sounds vital, fresh and alive. Every single song sounds huge and soul crushingly, brain splatteringly heavy, even after 15 years, this album holds up to anything that is being released nowadays. It’s very strong, confident debut from a band that would go on to be one of the heavyweights of the deathcore subgenre, as well as being respected by death metal fans in the process.
The real appeal of this reissue is the additional material. We get three bonus tracks. A Dead Current was previously released as a UK bonus track, while Swarm was available in a less polished form on the band’s Rare Ass Shit EP, so it’s nice to have a finished version here. We also get the band’s ridiculously brutal cover of Engine No.9 by DEFTONES.
There is also a collection of live tracks and instrumentals to round out the release. The live tracks are a treat, SUICIDE SILENCE have always been a great live band, and these tracks showcase that incredibly well. It’s a cool snapshot of the band at this time in their career which would prove to be a turning point for them, before stardom beckoned.
All in all, The Cleansing is one of the defining albums of the early 00’s deathcore/death metal scene. A pioneering classic from a band that defined a subgenre and launched a thousand imitators. A stepping stone on a pathway to glory that would see the band elevated to new heights, and the opening salvo in what could go on to be an incredible three album run, before the untimely passing of original vocalist Mitch Lucker. If you are unfamiliar with SUICIDE SILENCE or haven’t listened to them in a while, then The Cleansing is definitely worth a revisit, especially in this expanded form.
The Cleansing (Ultimate Edition) releases June 24th via Century Media Records
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