Review Summary: Suicide note brings more to the table than your typical technical metalcore album to create a very unique and varied experience.
Upon first listening to “you’re not looking so good”, one will notice the similarities to Converge right away, particularly with the vocalist. To put this off as another “Converge Rip off Band” would be considered quite harsh though because, other than the vocals, they sound quite a bit different.
The album opens with a hard hitting hardcore song called “Not in A Million Years”. The riffs are really ferocious here, and with a good pair of headphones, you can hear the bass thundering along in the background quite nicely. This song is a great introduction to what is coming next, as it blends some nice melodic guitars and chaotic riffs quite nicely. The next track introduces you to a song with clean singing. Usually these kind of chaotic albums are devoid of any kind of clean vocals, but he actually manages to blend it quite well, with a sweet melody to transition to the clean sung chorus. It’s hard to really pinpoint what his vocals are similar to, but I’d say closest would probably be the clean singer from the album “Tear From The Red,” which actually came out near the same time.
A few tracks later, we come to my favourite song of the album, “Gag Reflex”. This is hands down the most experimental track of the album, with a huge focus, once again, on melody and excellently placed clean vocals. The most amazing part of this song, however, is the wonderful piano midsection. It builds up to the point where you think it’s going to explode, but instead of doing what many other bands have already previously done before this; they decide to pull a 180 on us.
The production on the album is top notch, especially considering how old the album is. We get some excellent guitar tones, with the strumming of the guitars coming through noticeably crunchy, which is something I love to hear in this kind of music. The bass comes through clear, as stated earlier, and the drums are excellent, with each cymbal, kick, and snare coming out clear and precise.
The only weak part, if it can be considered one, would be the lack of much variety in the harsh vocals. He does try a bit too hard to emulate Jacob Bannon at times, and as such his vocals are pretty much indecipherable. This is easy to ignore, however, especially when you have so many other things going on at once.
The album ends hard with the track “Segue to The Sun”, another personal favourite off the album. Unlike previous songs that would focus more on structure and melody, this song is meant to just crush you with all of its force, leaving you in a daze. It is by far the slowest song on the album, and is very much sludge influenced, with early Neurosis being an obvious influence. It pummels you for its 4 minute duration, and the agonizing harsh vocals that appear briefly help to make you feel like you’re being tortured by some psychopath.
If you can handle the vocals being a bit samey in places, and are into melodic hardcore, with some pretty sweet technicality being thrown in, I highly recommend giving this a listen.