Suicide Silence– Become The Hunter
Released: February 14th, 2020
Eddie Hermida | vocals
Chris Garza | guitars
Mark Heylmun | guitars
Dan Kenny | bass
Alex Lopez | drums
Since losing vocalist Mitch Lucker in 2012, Suicide Silence have not only picked themselves up from the ashes and continued as a band, but if their newest release Become The Hunter is anything to go by they’ve consistently evolved to become a mainstay in extreme metal. And, to be honest, until recently I’ve never really given them the time of day. I wrote them off as part of that ‘screamo’ crowd from the mid-2000’s that plagued the stages of Warped and Ozzfest festivals with their tight jeans and over-styled fringes.
But over the holiday period, an opportunity came up which had me listening to ‘Unanswered’, the first track off the band’s debut album The Cleansing from 2007. And while that had me intrigued, digging further I found the video for fan-favourite ‘You Only Live Once’ and was instantly floored! This band brings the heavy, and intensifies it by ten, and later picking up The Black Crown on CD (yes CD’s, because it’s cheaper than vinyl and gives bands more money than streaming does) I found a brutal album with a vocalist who is missed greatly by the metal world. So, as luck would have it, Become The Hunter came up for review, and I thought it would be interesting to hear how Suicide Silence sit among the metal world in 2020.
Current vocalist Eddie Hermida seems to have made his place as a solid replacement for Mitch Lucker, not only comfortably adopting the scream/growl combo that became the Suicide Silence trademark but has incorporated his own ideas and capability into the band’s sound. The opening track ‘Meltdown’ slowly drones into action before delivering a crushing instrumental that sets the tone for the album, which leads into ‘Two Steps’, delivering the chug in a riff that will please older fans.
A feast for extreme metal fans consumes the entirety of Become The Hunter, with each downtuned breakdown being heavier than the last. This is backed by the following two tracks, ‘Feel Alive’ and ‘Love Me To Death’, with a combo of blast beats and chonky 7-strings, guitarists Chris Garza and Mark Heylmun trading licks and sludgy rhythm patterns to deliver some crushing, brutal songs.
‘In Hiding’ and ‘Death’s Anxiety’ winds the band even tighter, thanks to the sleek production of Steve Evetts, who produced the band’s previous works The Black Crown and You Can’t Stop Me, and things are only wound slightly back for ‘Skin Tight’, which could at first come off as the ballad of the album, but morphs into something that would fit the soundtrack of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Suicide Silence return to the chug for ‘The Scythe’, with even tighter breakdowns and screams that will have deathcore fans frothing for more. The acoustic intro of ‘Serene Obscene’ offers a slight break from the extreme, before crashing in again, continuing the assault for the remainder of the album through ‘Disaster Valley’. And pushing one last heavy breakdown to close with the title track, ‘Become The Hunter’.
With a polish courtesy of mix engineer Josh Wilbur, who among other projects has worked on Lamb of God and Parkway Drive, Suicide Silence has returned to the metal stage in 2020 with a bang. With its relentless riffs and breakdowns Become The Hunter is an album you’ll need to be in the mood for, and may not be one for background listening, but it’s one that will definitely please the fans, and maybe even bring a few new ears looking for some crushing brutality.
Suicide Silence – Become The Hunter tracklisting
2. Two Steps
3. Feel Alive
4. Love Me To Death
5. In Hiding
6. Death’s Anxiety
7. Skin Tight
8. The Scythe
9. Serene Obscene
10. Disaster Valley
11. Become The Hunter