You may think you know what the word ‘backlash’ means, but the reaction to Suicide Silence‘s 2017 self-titled effort could warrant a whole new description altogether.
The band were turned into a laughing stock by YouTuber Jared Dines, as well as an actual petition being launched to stop the album being released, to name just a few waves of attack that were thrown their way. Their attempt to incorporate a Korn and Deftones influence into their sound was a noble idea on paper, but in practice it suffered from ham-fisted and clunky execution to say the least. It’d be fair to say the deathcore trailblazers may feel they have something to prove for its follow-up, ‘Become The Hunter’.
‘Meltdown’ helps to set the scene, before ‘Two Steps’ kicks things off for real. This song serves as the strongest reassurance possible; a powerful, maniacal vocal performance from Eddie Hermida should banish any doubts, and the band are sound full of confidence. Even if you’re not into deathcore, Suicide Silence at their best can convince you with a tonne of conviction and knowingness, and the aforementioned song is a tidal wave of fury.
‘Feel Alive’ has an immediate energy to it, and utilises the emphasis on the low-end to great effect. ‘Love Me To Death’ features another strong vocal performance from Hermida, and an addictive noodley guitar riff too. ‘In Hiding’ holds a solid groove, and a mechanical use of their signature chugging guitar lines. The ending is as heavy as it gets, serving as a definite highlight.
The only real dud on here is ‘Skin Tight’, which, to some fans, will sound a bit too close to their last album for comfort. Hermida is unquestionably a powerful vocalist at best, but as we know from their previous effort, he unfortunately lacks the subtleties or nuances to put a vocal pattern over these kinds of passages that sits well. At least it comes in heavier later on, which is certainly redeemable, and ‘The Scythe’ is a better representation of the band straying away from the deathcore blueprint, with some impressive guitar work appearing again.
‘Serene Obscene’ begins with an acoustic guitar, and comes back in as hulky as ever. Even if the moments where their stylistic deviations are pulled off well are fleeting, they should still provide assurance.
And they’ve saved the best for last; the title-track comes out all guns blazing, full of domineering guitar riffs that carry the song impressively. The tempo change into the blast-beat section is a thrilling moment, before a final crushing breakdown ends things on a mightily strong note.
‘Become The Hunter’ is a great encapsulation of Suicide Silence at their crushing and groove-heavy best, and most of its contents will send fans into raptures live. Clawing their way back from near total banishment, Suicide Silence are well and truly back.