Nuclear Blast Records/Universal Music Australia
Reviewed By Andrew McKaysmith
Just how far removed will fans allow a band to stray from a traditional sound? A change in musical direction is more often met with incredulity and disdain, and then of course there is the zeitgeist of the modern-age: keyboard warrior outrage. Heavy metal is a genre littered with the corpse of bands with misplaced yet ultimately good intentions, and where Suicide Silence fall in this category over the long run will remain to be seen. One thing is absolutely certain though, the band's fifth long player is a determinedly stoic offering.
Reviews for Suicide Silence have been scathing. A quick read of the comments on YouTube reveal a tendency for subscribers to label the band's new sound ‘DefKorn’, referencing the perception that the band took their cue from the nu-metal icons on the new album. But how much of that is true? Rather a lot if I am to be frank.
I’m just a little perplexed that fans and media types think that through adoption of a more ‘contemporary’ sound that the band has sold out or is actually trying to piss off their legions of fans and followers.
I will need to make something abundantly clear- this is one brutal bastard of an album. It may not be in the same category as Decide’s Legion ('92) or Portal’s truly bizarre Vexovoid ('13), however this is not an album for a morose teen to test getting past 15 seconds of airtime in the family SUV, packed with clawing siblings and an impatient and sullen great aunt.
I interviewed the band's bass player and all round nice guy, Dan Kelly, recently. His thoughts on the album confirmed my original suspicions the band were baring their soul.
“This is just us being ourselves. We called the album Suicide Silence and we put our faces on the fucking front. If you open the album booklet, every one of our home towns is listed. All of us put our blood and heart and soul into it. We talked about real things”
“The concept (of the new album) is just be yourself, like I told you I play the bass on it and I was going through a bit of a personal hard time in my life. That was me being me, I couldn’t fake it. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, I’m sure everybody else is going through some burn. (Robinson) made everybody open up their hearts and that’s what we did.”
“Doris” opens the album with a Hendrix inspired piece of riffing before yelling gives way to a righteous ‘Fuck yeah’, then a deep, down and dirty snarl of a riff launches the album. It really doesn’t let up too much from there. So much of the detail in the criticism is of Eddie Hermida’s vocals. It is something that you have to warm to, however it does fit the album's rawer narrative.
Metalinjection.net recently reported that “… in U.S. alone, the self-titled Suicide Silence album sold 4,650 copies – a staggering 69% drop from the first week sales of 2014's You Can't Stop Me, which sold 15,000”.
I’m one of those fans that give a band an opportunity to try new things. I truly adore Celtic Frost's much maligned Cold Lake ('88). In fact it is one of my most thoroughly worn albums. If you are like me - a little to the left when it comes to music appreciation - there is gold on Suicide Silence. Block out the noise and discover it for yourself!