Bottom of the Barrel: Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence (2017)
Release date: 24th February, 2017
Record label: Nuclear Blast
For fans of: The sound of a pneumatic drill whirring its way through your skull
It’s probably fair to say that Suicide Silence is a controversial act in the metal world. Since Bring Me the Horizon made the jump to metalcore in the 2000s, the American five-piece has been the figurehead for the divisive “deathcore” sub-genre, which elitists seem to take constant joy in deriding as “diet death metal”: the aborted step-child of such acclaimed titans as Cannibal Corpse, Death, Deicide and Obituary.
But even those that derided Suicide Silence and their deathcore contemporaries should at the very least be able to understand their appeal. Like them or not, they represent the new-wave of anarchic extreme metal and are set to take the crown from the extreme powerhouses of the ‘80s when the time comes.
Or at least, that was the case until Suicide Silence’s self-titled album came along. Scheduled for release on 24th February, Suicide Silence is, to put it mildly, confusing. It seems that the goal of this record is to bridge traditional, aggressive deathcore with accessible melody, but what that mixture creates is a release that achieves neither, instead sounding like extraordinarily diluted and lethargic nu metal.
As much as the band deserves to be applauded for trying new things (which should always be encouraged), frontman Eddie Hermida sounds like he’s drifting in and out of consciousness, the guitar riffs are sloppy, the bass is non-existent and the rhythms are phenomenally unengaging. This is not like Temper Temper where, despite its awfulness, you may be able to see where some people might be able to draw a slither of pleasure from it: Suicide Silence is fundamentally broken. It is objectively bad.
Just how dreadful is it? To paint the picture, the band released the lead single, “Doris”, onto YouTube in January. With almost a million hits in just over a month, it currently stands with 26,000 dislikes to 14,000 likes.
“Doris” is the best song on this album. Like it or not, during the verses, there is actually energy and there is actually a pretty on-point vocal delivery from Hermida. None of this can be said for any other track on Suicide Silence.
It is so easy to tell that no effort went into this record whatsoever. This is not art: this is a band making an album for the sake of it, and maybe to fulfil some kind of contract they had with their label in the process.
This record is everything metal’s outsiders deride the genre for being: lazy, uninspired, vacuous noise with no substance and no discernible effort. It’s the antithesis to such heavy rock masterpieces as Caligula’s Horse’s The Tide, The Thief & River’s End (2013) and TesseracT’s Altered State (2013). And unless Suicide Silence gets its collective head back in the game soon, their self-titled album could prove disastrous for their careers.
See where Suicide Silence lands in the “Bottom of the Barrel” ranking list here.