Review Summary: A slight step-up from their debut that still defines mediocrity.2 of 4 thought this review was well written
Californian deathcore act Suicide Silence managed to rocket themselves to fame with the release of their commercially successful debut album The Cleansing in 2007. Backed up by popular singles such as Bludgeoned To Death, this release propelled them right to the forefront of their genre alongside artists such as Job For A Cowboy, and their fan base eagerly awaited what the band would follow this release up with. The result was finally unveiled two years later, entitled No Time To Bleed, and is actually a surprising improvement upon their past work.
The Cleansing was an album that was not what all that its sales would have it cracked up to be, to say the least. That particular release was as boring, mundane and downright stale as music can get, with an influx of generic breakdowns and dull and uninspired riffs. The one thing that their debut did correctly was showcase the vocal talents of Mitch Lucker, the now-deceased front-man that was part of the reason the band's fan base began to expand. Thankfully, No Time To Bleed at least attempts to correct some of the wrongs found on their first release, cutting the run-time down as well as expanding on the sound a little to make something that is not entirely atrocious.
Wake Up opens the album in blisteringly quick fashion, with a flurry of quick guitar riffs and blast beats that carry it forward at lightning fast pace. For the most part, this is one of the fastest tracks in their career and shows that the band really know how to lay down some solid instrumentation. Factor in the tortured high pitched shrieks from Mitch and this has all the makings of a great song. Until the breakdowns start. Wake Up shows that the band has not matured all that much from their debut by slowing the pace right down to a stagnant series of open string chugs that supposedly passes for musicianship. Smoke is another song that is absolutely criminal of squandering any potential that particular song has with its ridiculous obsession with open string chugging. Breakdowns can be nice to listen to when used properly (see: Cryptopsy's Graves Of The Fathers), and when they are not all over the place, but unfortunately Suicide Silence just did not realize this.
The two main highlights of this release are the vocal work and the drumming. Mitch puts in a spectacular performance across here, with some nice-sounding lows and some really amazing high-pitched shrieks. He arguably tops his performance on their debut by sounding a lot more organic instead of the overly processed sound his low, guttural growls had on tracks such as the aforementioned Bludgeoned to Death. The title track here shows him leaping between the two styles with a lot of clear ability on display, and it really makes for a nice and varied listen. The drumming is also absolutely all over the place on here, with some quite nice slower beats found at times, and some controlled blast beats that really enhance the songs they are found on. Sadly, the other members of the band are not quite up to standard. The guitar riffs are primarily either chuggy breakdowns or boring tremolo picked riffs that let this release down, with the occasional guitar solos that only really work on the opening track and feel like a complete waste of time on the others. The bass is completely inaudible for the most part of this due to an absolutely awful production job that means the drums and guitars completely overbear anything else in the mix, losing that low-end rumbling that anchors down so many band's sound.
Wake Up and Suffer are the two most worthwhile songs here, with the former being ruined unfortunately by the breakdowns whereas the latter is hands down the strongest song the band put out until their third studio album. Mitch's vocals are absolutely demonic on these songs, and the drum fills on Suffer before the slower riffs kick in are really well written. Also, the guitar work is surprisingly strong on this track, a rarity for this album. Genocide and Disengage are two tracks that are not completely awful, with the former opening quite slowly before a nice blast beat accompanied by Mitch's shrieks kicks in. Sadly, the rest of the songs are an absolute heap of garbage that do not live up to the stature that this band has maintained within their genre since their inception.
No Time To Bleed is a mixed bag of an album that, when it gets something right, really works. Sadly, the guitar work is often stale and boring, whilst the bass is completely drowned out by an atrocious production job. Only a handful of tracks are worth checking, and only the absolute best of these is one that will keep you coming back. This is an album that defines mediocrity.