Review Summary: I once thought that I had found the path, for so long I believed in all your bullshit
Although long since tragically separated from their original vocalist Mitch Lucker following the motorcycle accident that claimed his life, Suicide Silence’s comeback with ex-All Shall Perish vocalist Eddie Hermida at the helm was highly anticipated, mostly because the hope that the new material would erase the memory of the band’s latest and worst effort The Black Crown remained.
On their self-titled EP and The Cleansing, the band’s material was heavy and fast, albeit technically lacking. No Time to Bleed, their sophomore effort, donned a groovier mantle in songs like Disengage, and proved the band could competently play guitar solos as well as, you know, something that wasn’t a breakdown. And honestly despite being lyrically appalling, vocally weak and instrumentally unimpressive, The Black Crown packed more diversity into their music than ever before. But here, we get the same beefy riffs, the same run of the mill drumming and honestly, the same vocals that appeared on the first two records.
Hernida is by no means a poor vocalist, and his lows easily exceed the quality of anything Lucker came up with, with thunderous growls that blend pretty well into the contorted, angular riff work. The title track is probably his finest moment, recalling The Black Crown’s *** Everything with its anthemic chorus. That being said, the lyrics on this particular track are notably worse than any of the other material here, largely because Lucker wrote them prior to his death. It’s obviously nice of them to honour his legacy, but there’s no denying that the songs that proudly wear Lucker’s influence are the ones that fall flat in this department.
But Hernida hasn’t had that much of an impact on the band either. Most of the time it’s easy to mistake his ear penetrating shrieks for something Lucker himself would perform, and on single Cease To Exist the stuff being screamed is just as eye-rollingly bad. It’s strange how the deathcore titans almost seem to devolve once they reach their peak success (the same thing happened to Whitechapel and Carnifex), and with the sort of riff style rarely deviating from the standard chugging of No Time To Bleed, it’s clear that the band are equally as unwilling to stray from their traditional generic style as they are to embrace more adventurous songwriting.
The production really lets everything down, and as with other records Steve Evetts have produced the guitars and vocals refuse to let the rhythmic section take centre stage at any point. The drumming and bass are so unremarkable when they do appear that the band might as well have just assembled a band full of guitarists, because the sole purpose of this record is to create thick, layered guitars for Hernida to unleash his rage over. It is weird to hear Eddie performing in a band of such poor instrumental calibre, but at least it highlights his entirely solid performance properly.
Anyone even considering praising the band for their technical playing probably needs to play closer attention. They might dupe some listeners with their longer intros, occasional slower, ‘atmospheric’ parts and the two guest vocal appearances, but let’s face it; the band are offering nothing new here, and delivering music too offensively simple for a band that have dominated the heavy music scene for such a long time.