What a controversial year it’s been for Suicide Silence. Produced by nu-metal maestro Ross Robinson, the California deathcore band dropped its second self-titled album featuring Eddie Hermida as vocalist on February 24, 2017. Speaking with us a few years prior, Hermida warned us that the band were doing something entirely different and for fans to forget what they think Suicide Silence is or was, going on to say the new album “may completely bomb.” Well, he was kind of right. The album opened with sales of 69% less than its previous album “You Can’t Stop Me.”
Then, a feud started when Eddie Hermida called out Aussie deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder in the press by saying that they write the same song over and over again (read here). Eddie added fuel to the fire in an interview we conducted with him in March, while also defending Suicide Silence’s stylistic changes on the new album:
“I’m not doing things to sell records, I’m doing things to create music and an art form. If I was worried about selling records, then I wouldn’t have created this record. I would’ve Auto-Tuned my vocals, and I would have created something that is more pleasant of an experience. I would have created more of a safety net for all of these fans to fall into. The point is that I didn’t want to create something comfortable. I wanted to create something punk rock. I wanted to create something heavy metal.”
Finally, Eddie got sucked into the “#metoo” movement, by being accused of sexual harassment by a young female fan (read here).
But back to the album. I will go on record by saying I really liked the … uh … record. I’m surely not the only one, right? Last I checked, fans are still coming out in droves to the band’s shows and like Eddie told me, had they made the album that they were “supposed” to make, would anyone have been talking about Suicide Silence?
This record reminds me of two other Ross Robinson-produced classics that faced (and still face) equal criticism: Sepultura’s “Roots” (1996) and Machine Head’s “The Burning Red” (1999). Unpredictable, unconventional, deeply emotional and uneasy is how I’d best describe the sound of this Suicide Silence album. Yes, they flip the script of what a deathcore album is, even incorporating clean vocals (gasp). But there’s just no denying songs like “Listen,” as Eddie screams incoherently over a chugging deathcore riff. Or “Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down,” which sounds like a holdover from “Roots” done up Suicide Silence style. As Deftones-inspired as “Dying In A Redroom” is, it’s a turning point of the band, wrought with clean vocals and emotion. “The Zero,” the classic rock soloing on “Conformity” … I could go on.
“Suicide Silence” was the album that had to be made by someone. A lot metal has become entirely too predictable in recent years and this album was a statement that took balls. “You Only Live Once,” a great vocalist once said. Good to see that Suicide Silence is still living by this mantra.
Released February 24, 2017, Nuclear Blast Records