Album Review: Suicide Silence - Become The Hunter
Artist: Suicide Silence
Album: Become The Hunter
Review by Darren Hurford
The sixth studio album from Suicide Silence, ‘Become The Hunter’ is a violent, chaotic and brutally precise return to form. After their previous self-title 2017 release garnered some scathing criticism as a departure from what initially grew the California deathcore giants fan base, this album takes the lessons learned from those experiences, builds on them, adds in half a cup of Viking Axe shavings and a whole lotta’ hate.
From the opening track Meltdown and the eery fog-on-a-lake style ambience, the track kicks in as if it were something from a stadium tour, reminiscent of Fear Factory (think ’Demanufacture’ and Zero Signal). The operatic choir placed carefully behind the blasted drums and guitar create a sense of anticipation as to what comes next.
With Two Steps, you know. It’s as if the band have grabbed you by the collar and shouted in your face, “Are you ready?! ‘Coz this is happening now!” A full-fledged assault from the outset, the track creates a groove to bang your head to, throws in some blast beats to shake it up, then brings it straight back to where you feel safe in the heavy anarchy they’ve created. Alex Lopez’s drumming on this album is of particular note, not afraid to just run on the double bass until you feel it in your bowels, interspersing it with some perfectly timed but not over-done blast fills. The production on this album was also superb, no small feat in a genre where the guitars can often sound like every chord is opening the gates to hell and the tonality of other instruments can get lost. But producer Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan, Sepultura, Hatebreed) has worked masterfully to create a perfectly balanced mix.
Love Me To Death could be a deathcore love song (I’m sure it’s no coincidence the album dropped on Valentine’s Day). Hernan Hermida’s vocals, combined with the angry swarm of bees style guitar work from Mark Heylmun and Chris Garza create a chaotic, confused and painful ode to that someone special in your life, making you want to buy them a bunch of dead roses. In Hiding feels like bad-guy entrance music or something that would fit in the latest Doom game, whilst Serene Obscene is reminiscent of the golden age of Machine Head.
’Become The Hunter’ is full of absolute teeth grinding core at its finest, but the track that caught my attention most was Skin Tight. The slower pace of this song gives it a haunting over hate-filled vibe, with the guitars favouring intricacy over being thunderous. Hermida really gets a chance to scream through his pain on this one, whilst the rest of the band sit back and give the vocals room to breathe. This song is a testament to the band’s evolution in their song writing and adds to the totality of not only the production of the album, but it’s ability to sound complete without being overbearing.
Between The Scythe and it’s technical speed and precision that only true masters of their craft can accomplish, then the title track Become the Hunter, the album ends with a final chaotic whirlwind of sheer power and intensity, just to let you know you’ve been struggling for air for the last 40 minutes. An album layered with raw emotion, musical craftsmanship, and just some straight up heavy ass deathcore, ‘Become The Hunter’ is a hell of a way to kick off 2020 for the band.
Ladies and gentlemen, Suicide Silence are back, and they are not F^&#ING around!
Best parts: The Scythe. Will the double-kick ever end?!
Best to listen to when: Your Mum tells you to clean up your room……F*#& YOU MUM IT’S NOT EVEN THAT DIRTY! (Throws pillows on the ground in Metal defiance \m/)
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Become The Hunter is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.