Review Summary: Sophomore Slump
We all have our ways of finding new music. Probably a few of us have found some great bands through this very site. For the longest time my way of finding new and usually good music was through a friend of mine. In around late 06, early 07 my friend introduced my to this, at the time, small Californian band called Suicide Silence
. Never thought much of them until a chance encounter had me see them live with Stick To Your Guns and Bury Your Dead and needless to say I was very impressed. Being your typical fan-boy I preordered the autographed CD of their debut The Cleansing
and became one of the thousands that helped Suicide Silence shoot to the Billboard Top 100. Now two years later, and with quite a much more refined taste in extreme music, I buy myself the sophomore album of Suicide Silence, No Time To Bleed
Now make no mistake, I really wanted to like this album. As much as the term ‘deathcore’ is usually despised in Sputnik, I tend to pride myself in thinking that bands such as Whitechapel
, Glass Casket
and Despised Icon
make good and catchy deathcore. But unfortunately No Time To Bleed does not help Suicide Silence in this genre.
I was a fan of The Cleansing. Yes, there were a lot of redundant and repetitive songs that were and continue to be, nothing but added fluff to the album but it was still a solid debut with room to grow. One thing that really made The Cleansing stand out (and Suicide Silence as a whole) was the singles in the album. Tracks like No Pity For A Coward
, Bludgeoned To Death
, and Unanswered
were seriously above average and stood out from most deathcore bands out there, but that was pretty much it. But in the second Suicide Silence album they take a shot and miss, sometimes by a long shot.
Their first single is their opening track Wake Up
and I make this solemn warning to those who buy this album: skip it. I really don’t understand why they put this song in the beginning of their album when followed right after it is the much better suited song Lifted. I guess they wanted to seem ‘unrelenting’ cause that’s exactly what Wake Up is, but for all the wrong reasons. This song unfortunately proves to the listener that Suicide Silence has lost their ability to make good breakdowns. I would have hoped by now, in this year, that the ability to make good breakdowns does not consist of repetitive chugging to a beat that isn’t even catchy or memorable.
Probably the one fairly okay track is their song Lifted
. Now this should have been the opener to their album because of the ominous clean intro and buildup it has to it but for one reason or another, they decided not to. Lifted is the one rare example in the album where Suicide Silence harkens back to The Cleansing and is in the vein of a much more progressed version of No Pity For A Coward. Then the sweeps come in…
Let me make this perfectly clear, I cannot play guitar like Suicide Silence can so I will not compare my ability to play an instrument to theirs. But for God’s sake, I really mean it when I say that Suicide Silence just cannot sweep worth a damn. Lifted would have been a completely fine track if it just didn’t have those God awful sweeps in it. The break in the song where we hear the sweep is so atrocious that I could not even imagine what kind of drug they were on when producing the final cut. Please, just take it away.
But now let us talk about the positive side to this album, and what actually makes No Time To Bleed bearable. Mitch’s vocals
have improved quite a bit from The Cleansing. When I saw Suicide Silence live his vocals where fairly impressive but his lows were a constant pig squeal fest which I find to be very non-professional. When The Cleansing came out I could hear the production attempting to mask his squeals but in this album I can finally say that Mitch has got a handle on his vocals and have improved upon it. While his vocals have progressed since The Cleansing it is still, unfortunately, not enough to save this album.
In conclusion, this has been very hard to write. As much as I would have wanted Suicide Silence to prove the critics wrong and actually release an album that is good I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking when they realeased this album. Suicide has lost their ability to make catchy deathcore and because of this I can see them starting to fall out of favor with the mainstream crowd that helped them skyrocket to the charts with their debut album.