Album Review: Suicide Silence – Become the Hunter

I have an unpopular opinion, I don’t care for Suicide Silence. Before you take your pitchforks, let me say that I highly respect what they have accomplished, and it takes great strength to continue to pursue a career in the same group when your lead vocalist dies. Sadly, Become the Hunter does not go too well as it jogs itself through each track with not much personality.

Meltdown, an instrumental introduction, slowly dips its feet in the water with an eerie beginning before diving in. Classic low tuned riffs with heavy breakdowns make for a good time to headbang. Even with that, it feels rather generic and does not set any recognizable tone for what’s to happen other than the fact that I am about to go through a lot of the same sounding riffs and breakdowns. Thankfully that ominous mood stays in the background for some flavor.

The short verses and choruses make Two Steps feel weird with its pacing on the vocal delivery, which is excellent from Eddie Hermida, who completely abandons his clean style that awkwardly occurred on the last release.  The instrumentation follows the same bland path as Meltdown with the addition of a few highlights. The bridge adds a much needed dark atmosphere while the solo that comes afterward delivers a whiny screech that gives some 80s metal vibes.

The intricacy of Feel Alive does bring this record alive to some degree. The members start to play with more complexity rather than beating me to death with overly simplified breakdowns. It mixes catchiness and brutality that has a drive, unlike the previous track.

I feel lead guitarist Mark Heylmun taking this in a different direction with Love Me to Death before everyone else jumps in to take the wheel to go back where I was in the first place. When I get back to that point, I realize that the deathcore veterans will drag me through an array of generic songs that I have heard from them before.

Some hints of rhythm creep into In Hiding, but as the shortest song next to the introduction, things quickly revert back into hammer a nail on the head without a single thought. Sprinkling in some variety from the instrumentation adds a little more depth that does not entirely save things here. Another whiny solo comes in to give me the oxygen I need to survive.

Death’s Anxiety grabs my attention with its youthful energy. Quickly I lose interest as it blends together with the last few songs. Everything is coming together more and more I get deeper into the band’s sixth release.

The screams stay while the mood changes with Skin Tight. I was shocked hearing the subtly guitar and light drum work to make for an intimate face to face with the vocalist in this weirdly intense song. It goes back and forth between heaviness and somber brutality to create the most dynamic piece across all 11 songs.

Although the members have not saved themselves yet, things start to move in a better direction as they bounce off onto The Scythe. An intense build-up with an unbelievably relentless tight riff with some percussive power booming in and out. The vocals coming in with some hardcore vibes make this song a standout hit as it dives into carnage. This is the deathcore that they should have delivered back on track one, not eight.

The acoustic introduction of Serence Obscene caught me off guard before getting smacked with a violent breakdown. The transition does go smoothly or make much sense in its context, it does weave mayhem and rhythm together in a fairly intriguing way. No clean vocals feature unlike the last record, but a monotoned monologue changes up the scenery before a melodic shift heads to the conclusion of this surprisingly good entry on the final section of the band’s latest release.

Disaster Valley plows through the walls while its punching with percussive power and slashes with its unremarkable riffs. It goes with the trend that has been set with everything else here, breakdown first, think later. After underutilizing the bass, some drops come in that make me actually happy, something I did not expect. Then the best solo comes in with intense melodies and its ear-piercing sound that top it all off.

Oh no, the title track ends up being one of the worst, and it is the closer, big yikes. It throws away all the progress the last few songs made with me by throwing in all the same generic sounds I heard before. To make it worse, the guitar solo is short and has no outstanding qualities.

Not even guest vocalist, Darius Tehrani of Spite could help save the finale to this bland album.

Become the Hunter is unseasoned, flavorless extreme music that shows the band has gone backward since its controversial self titled record. I don’t miss Eddie’s terrible clean vocals that weirdly tried to sound like Chino Moreno from Deftones, but I do wish they tried to fix those issues into something special. Going back to their roots shows how much they gave in into hateful fans rather than sticking to their guns for music that has substance, even if it still sucks.

Score: 4/10

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Image via Nuclear Blast Records

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