REVIEW: SUICIDE SILENCE – “Become The Hunter”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
It’s not often that you find the perfect album in any specific genre. Suicide Silence comes dangerously close to achieving this feat. By definition, Deathcore is a fusion of Death Metal and Metalcore. It has many of the features of the subgenres fused such as the growling vocals and blast beats of Death Metal and the breakdowns and melodies of Metalcore. Suicide Silence continues to combine these elements with ease and are amazingly talented musicians.
With limited line-up changes over the years, the band currently consists of Chris Garza on rhythm guitar, Mark Heylmun on lead guitar, Alex Lopez on drums, Dan Kenny on bass and Eddie Hermida who took over vocals after the untimely passing of the band’s original vocalist, Mitch Lucker in 2012. Eddie’s vocals fit solidly within the overall framework, transitioning seamlessly between the thunderous growling to the banshee screeches that are so prevalent on this album.
Releasing their 6th studio album on February 14th, 2020, ‘Become the Hunter’, the guys in Suicide Silence have provided the quintessential Valentine’s Day gift for that special metalhead in your life. It has everything that a Deathcore fan could possibly want in new music. Suicide Silence lost a bit of street cred with the release of their 5th studio album which garnered both critical and fan backlash. However, it’s clear that they’ve moved on and are back to producing music that is aggressive and loud, technical and well-written. Every song stands on its own, not a lot of repetition and no obvious filler.
‘Become the Hunter’ grabs you straight out of the gate with “Meltdown”, a 2-minute instrumental that revs up the listener and provides a sample of the technical prowess and adeptness of the rest of the tracks. I liked it the very first time I heard it and it made me excited to keep listening. That excitement remained, quite honestly, through the entire album. The first two vocal tracks, “Two Steps” and “Feel Alive” are both 3-minute offerings bringing all of those elements previously mentioned. Growls, screeches, blast beats, breakdowns, melodies. They’re all there and balanced skillfully within a web of perfectly orchestrated chaos.
It’s really hard to pick tracks to point out because each track is worthy of praise in its own right. As the author, my personal favorites are “Love Me to Death” and “Skin Tight”. Eddie’s vocals in “Love Me to Death” hits new heights in screeching and is somehow oddly satisfying to hear. There are not many people that can do that with any consistency without incurring some sort of damage. “Skin Tight” has a slightly slower pace than the rest of the pack but later opens up to a pounding riff which would translate to a great circle pit in a live setting. In fact, it could be argued that this entire album was written specifically for live performances because all of them would have a huge impact, especially in a smaller venue. Lopez’s performance on the drums is nothing less than stellar on each and every track and is a large part of the chemistry that pulls everything together.
As mentioned before, all tracks on this offering are worthy of a write-up of their own. “In Hiding”, “Death’s Anxiety”, “The Scythe”, “Serene Obscene”, “Disaster Valley”, each has unique styling, aggressive vocals, pounding rhythm and a technical drum line that crafts each song masterfully. The last track on the list is the title track, “Become the Hunter”, which has a faster, heavier vibe and rounds out the album nicely.
Suicide Silence has had some missteps throughout their career, but “Become the Hunter” will prove to be their saving grace. It’s a well-written, technical piece of Deathcore that will re-establish Suicide Silence as Deathcore greats. Highly recommended.