Wednesday, 12 February 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Suicide Silence, “Become The Hunter”

By: Thomas Gonzales

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/02/2020
Label: Nuclear Blast

“Become The Hunter” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Meltdown
2. Two Steps
3. Feel Alive
4. Love Me to Death
5. In Hiding
6. Death’s Anxiety
7. Skin Tight
8. The Scythe
9. Serene Obscene
10. Disaster Valley
11. Become the Hunter

The Review:

When approaching any review, I try to pull myself out of the fandom, and instead listen with an objective ear. However, there are occasionally bands that hold a particularly important place in my blackened metal heart, one of which is Suicide Silence.

I discovered Suicide Silence way back in the days of MySpace, where I at one point received a marketing care package from them to distribute. Somewhere in the lost ruins of my things, is a box FULL of autographed Suicide Silence EPs and posters. Sadly, years of travel and moving have buried them in obscurity…and dust. I even remember having their direct email and attempting to buy a guitar from them before they started one of their first major tours. I later saw them live on several separate occasions, with both Mitch Lucker and now Eddie Hermida. Yes, this is a mild humble brag, and my love of this band may even deter some readers from continuing, but the context is important to understanding just how much of an impact Suicide Silence has had on the extreme metal scene. For many, SS were the gateway into heavier subgenres, listeners like me in particular.

 “Become the Hunter” will be considered by many the first proper follow-up to “You Can’t Stop Me”, as 2017’s self-titled release “Suicide Silence”, was such a drastic departure from their style that it could hardly be considered more than an experiment. Draped in controversy amongst various metal fandoms, Suicide Silence always seems on the wrong side of community; too Core to be Death metal, and sometimes, too Death Metal to be core. “Become the Hunter” continues this trend, but in a far more palatable fashion, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy here.

Drawing from their extensive library of sound, SS implements techniques from all throughout the entirety of their discography on their latest release. Tracks like “Two Steps” and “Serene Obscene” sound like they could’ve come straight off “No Time to Bleed” or “The Black Crown”, while tracks like “In Hiding” and “Running on Empty” harken back to their early Brutal Death Metal days. Rounding it all out, there’s a refreshing dash of blackened influence across most tracks.

What may surprise many listeners, is that Suicide Silence did NOT completely abandon the hard rock/heavy metal approach from “Suicide Silence”, but instead interwove it into something quite refreshing. “Skin Tight” may be the standout title from “Become the Hunter”; starting out with an atmospheric almost Deftones style verse, then blasting into a blistering Deathcore chorus, to then give way to a crunchy slam inspired bridge. It’s drastic, energetic, and down right energizing, a real (head)banger of a song. It’s these sensibilities that keep fans coming back for more.

Never content with following the pack, Suicide Silence continues to try and direct the flow. Sometimes they fall short, and other times they change the course of metal. Regardless of the critical reception, at the end of the day, they are always leaving an impact in their wake. Thankfully, with a return to form, “Become the Hunter” may be their best release to date. Adept in execution, and diverse in approach, Suicide Silence are back, and better than ever!

“Become The Hunter” is available HERE

Band info: facebook