No Time to Bleed
The same old formula
When Riverside (California, U.S.) based deathcore act Suicide Silence released their debut full-length effort The Cleansing in 2007 (the follow-up to their 2005 self-titled E.P.), it immediately drew both critical acclaim and criticism in equal measure. Those who enjoyed the album praised the relatively young act for their sheer brutality and impressive live performances, while others simply felt that the band’s incredible heaviness only masked the fact that they didn’t really have much to offer in the way of memorable songs. As it so happens, I was one of those who fell into the latter in terms of my impressions of The Cleansing, with only a couple of good ideas remotely sounding interesting on the band’s debut effort.
It’s been two years since then, and once again the five-piece act (who now comprise of vocalist Mitch Lucker, guitarists Chris Garza and Mark Heylmun, ex-Animosity/Light This City bassist Daniel Kenny and drummer Alex Lopez) have returned with their sophomore effort No Time to Bleed. And while there’s quite a bit of maturity evident between the band’s two releases, I still can’t help but feel that Suicide Silence still haven’t mastered the art of writing a memorable song.
As you would expect, the production on No Time to Bleed (handled by renowned producer Machine) is nothing short of sharp, brutal and precise, and perfectly suited to Suicide Silence’s precision sounding take on the deathcore sound. The drums are certainly a dominating factor in the overall mix, and the guitars are definitely razor sharp and cutting than ever before. And then there’s Lucker, who has managed to broaden his vocal range to virtually push the limits of both the lower ended growls and the higher end screams this time around.
But when you strip away the production, and remove the obviously sheen on the musician’s instrument sounds, you’re not left with much at all.
The opening track Wake Up (which also serves as the first single/promotional video clip) is a perfect example of where Suicide Silence’s sound lies these days, with the slower and more direct approach being adopted. But in terms of a chorus, Wake Up is more than a little repetitive and unimaginative, while the inclusion of the solo sounds a little pointless as it’s purely scales based and by the numbers sounding.
Apart from the odd creepy guitar effect (which reminds me of Meshuggah), both Lifted and Smoke suffer the same issues that plagued the opener, while Something Invisible, the title track No Time to Bleed and Suffer are all fairly ordinarily tracks that are full of the same plodding riffs and the all too familiar breakdowns.
...And Then She Bled and Your Creations are definitely two of the stronger tracks on the album, while the haunting instrumental Wasted (which features samples from a 911 call detailing a domesticated chimpanzee’s attack on a woman) is the only real pick from the remainder of the album.
Suicide Silence have definitely come a long way since their debut in a lot of ways, but in terms of writing songs, the band seem to have stunted in maturity, and seem content to stick with the same formula once again. All up, if you were a fan of the band’s previous works, then you’ll enjoy No Time to Bleed. If the band failed to impress the last time around, then you can be sure that although there’s a change of production values, the songs ready do remain the same.
(Century Media Records/EMI Music Australia)