Review: Suicide Silence - Become the Hunter
Suicide Silence were once beloved by thousands of die-hard fans, equally as admired for their crushingly heavy music as they were for lead singer Mitch Lucker's infectious charisma. Those times are now seemingly very much in the past for the California band with the tragic passing of Lucker in 2012 and the subsequent releases of 2014's mediocre You Can't Stop Me record and 2017's now infamous self -titled record, which cost the band a majority of it's previously established fan-base. As we stand in 2020, Suicide Silence has spent much of their interview time over the past few years deriding deathcore as a stale and immature genre thus further alienating the fans who once loved them. The band enters their 6th studio album with perhaps the lowest expectations of their career from listeners. With the release of several singles it appears the band is attempting to transition back to their deathcore roots while keeping much of the groove they have become fond of. Can Suicide Silence resurrect their career and regain some of their former glory to any degree or is it maybe time to call it a day for the deathcore pioneers? There's only one way to find out, let's take a listen and decide the verdict.
The record begins solidly enough with intro track, Meltdown, which in all honesty could have been utilized better as a fully fleshed-out song as it's one of the harder hitting riffs on the record. The next three tracks in a row are all singles, something I'm not quite a fan of personally as I think it's better to excite fans with something they haven't yet heard. The sings aren't terrible but they're also nothing too special. Some of these pieces display a strong influence from both Korn and Slipknot with a deathcore icing placed over the top of them. An immediately developing trait of this record is the overabundance of chugging that can be heard in nearly every track. Suicide Silence was once unfairly ridiculed by critics as a "chug chug breakdown" band while I felt they brought much more to the table than they were given credit for, now however it feels like they embody that stereotype. Tracks like In Hiding and Deaths Anxiety have some cool parts with the latter even dipping it's toe into slamming death metal but at some point the tracks always come back to focusing on groove rather than adding anything interesting into the mix.
Skin Tight is arguably the best song out of the bunch here with an ere opening giving off the vibe of their previous record before building up into several explosions of energy, some similarities between Slipknot's Prosthetic from an aesthetic perspective. Serene Obscene showcases some very nice Egyptian style guitar playing, which unfortunately leads me to mention that the solo's on this record, while perfectly fine from a technical standpoint, feel completely out of place and unnecessary in these tracks. By the time we hit the last few tracks which includes a wasted feature from one of the best vocalists in deathcore, Spite's Darius Tehrani , I can no longer even distinguish many of these songs from each other as they form into a cloud of endless chugging and repetitive lyrics. Perhaps my biggest problem with this album is the constant repetition of lyrics, which usually consists of the title of the song being screamed over and over again and it grows tiring quite fast.
In conclusion, I went into this album with low expectations and somehow I still felt disappointed when I listened to it. This may be because Suicide Silence was the band that got me into more extreme forms of music. That brings up something I want to make clear, Suicide Silence is one of my favorite and most important bands to me of all-time, I don't want to dislike these albums and I don't hate that the band drastically changed, I just feel like they have done a very poor job at doing so. On Become The Hunter the band falls into a hole repeating themselves all too often and failing to bring any new features to their repertoire. With the bands previous dismissal of deathcore, one also has to doubt the authenticity and motivation behind this record. This album sounds more like an attempt to regain some of their old fan-base rather than bring something new to the table. As hard as it is to accept, it appears this bands best days are very far behind them and there's not going to be any return to prominence. While each member is talented and capable of great things and we wish them nothing but success, we have to give this record 2 out of 5 stars.