Suicide Silence
Become the Hunter

For a while there, in the mid /late 00s, at deathcore’s peak, Suicide Silence were mentioned in the same breath as genre darlings the likes of Whitechapel, Oceano, All Shall Perish, Despised Icon and such. Even after the tragic death of vocalist Mitch Lucker in 2012, the band were joined by Eddie Hermida (ex-All Shall Perish), and released a solid effort in 2014s’ You Cant Stop Me.

But then it all went to shit. The band’s 2017 self released effort saw Hermida and co develop into a more Nu metal/Korn/Deftones style, including clean ‘singing’, personified by the single “Doris“. And the critics and fans responded with largely overwhelming negativity. The album was the band’s lowest selling  and most critically panned album in their once promising career.

Well, the band apparently heard the critics and have responded aptly with a monster album that returns to the band’s signature deathcore style, and more importantly Hermida does not sing at all.

I’m no Suicide Silence fanboy, finding 2007s The Cleansing and 2009s No Time to Bleed, merely decent deathcore records, but Become the Hunter is a beast. It has just a few Nu metal jumpdafuckup strains from before, as far as some of the breakdowns, but for the most part, the album is a pure, old school deathcore beatdown, with some of the band’s heaviest moments of their discography. And did I mention there is no singing/whining?

After “Meltdown” starts the album with 2 minute intro of sorts, “Two Steps” set the tone and shows Suicide Silence have learned from their misstep with a fucking monster slow churn and breakdown filled assault. “Feel Alive” follows suit, and it’s clear the band wanted to open the album with a pummeling statement, and they do. Steady chugger, “Love Me to Death”,  and “Into Hiding” are the first songs that hints a little at the band’s Nu metal foray, but again still no singing, as Hermida keeps it strictly in growl and scream territory.”Death’s Anxiety” is what I would consider more of a traditional deathcore track with ample blast beats, deep bellows and breakdowns.

“Skin Tight” initially had me worried, with its moody atmospheric opening and I fully expected Hermida to break into his Chino Moreno impression.  But ultimately as the song builds, it successfully melds the sound the band were going for on the last album, but adds one of the band’s strongest ever lopes/breakdowns making the track an album standout.

“The Scythe” also had me a bit worried for its first few bars, but quickly delivers a crushing opening groove/lurch that’s sure to get pits in a frenzy, but its moody mid song break as well as following crushing song “Serene Obscene” is clearly the vision the band has had for a while but now has successfully implemented it after a failed attempt on the last album.  And did I mention, that vision has no singing now?

Closers “Disaster Valley” and the title track the album with two more traditional deathcore bruisers and I can confidently say that Become the Hunter is an excellent album. And I have to give respect to Suicide Silence for responding to a almost career derailing misstep,  learning from their mistakes, and releasing an album that erases the last effort with brutal swagger and just enough development. Oh and no singing…..

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 17th, 2020

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