Due to the sexual misconduct allegations against Eddie Hermida from 2017, Devil May Cry 5 publisher & developer, Capcom, has now decided to pull the band’s newest song from the upcoming title’s soundtrack.
There’s a number of upcoming games that I’m really hanging out for. In 2018, it’s Red Dead Redemption 2 and Hitman 2. As for as 2019, it’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware could shit in a bucket and sell it to me and I’d still happily pay full price for it), as well as Devil May Cry 5. As a long time fan of the Devil May Cry series – yes, even the fourth entry and that 2013 Team Ninja reboot – I’m foaming at the mouth to see and know more about this long-awaited fifth instalment to a franchise I adore. The DMC games are just these violent, ludicrously over-the-top yet insanely stylish action experiences where fun and entertainment comes first before realism is even discussed. And I fucking love that!
For myself and other giddy fans, we got new gameplay footage on Tuesday with the latest DMC5 showcasing at the Tokyo Game Show. This new TGS trailer, whilst revealing more of DMC4’s Nero returning as a playable character and a DILF version of always too-cool-for-school leading man, Dante, we also heard the game’s new battle theme. This song, ‘Subhuman‘, is actually a two-year-long musical collaboration between game composer Cody Matthew Johnson (who also worked on Capcom Vs. Marvel: Infinite) and deathcore-favourites-turned-teehee-masters Suicide Silence.
Overall, the response to the theme has not at all been pleasant for Cody and the band. With most fans and listeners saying that it doesn’t fit the game’s pacing nor the tone of the main series iteration of Dante. Namely that the song’s try-hard lyrics, inconsistent vocal performances and plastic production are not only ill-suited for the game but are also severely underwhelming too. And I agree, personally.
As a fan, this track also seems like a miss-understanding of the source material, especially when considering past music used for the series beforehand. DMC3’s solid though albeit edgy theme, ‘Devils Never Cry‘, used gravely whispered vocals, goth vibes, choral sections, juxtaposed tones, electronic percussion, and over-saturated nu-metal riffs to real effect. It’s corny, but it worked wonders in-game, and for the story arcs of Dante, Lady and Vergil as well. Then DMC4’s jungle drum beats and chugging industrial-metal of ‘Shall Never Surrender‘ worked as a solid battle theme too. Not only that, it’s tonal shifts with added game samples, melodic vocals and instrumental changes in the second half leaned into that game’s theme of determination; also being a sudden musical shift that mirrored the game’s plot shift from Nero to Dante halfway through, and then back to Nero for the finale. Cheesy? Yeah, kinda. Stylistically and thematically fitting for the characters and the game’s narrative? Absolutely! In the case of ‘Subhuman‘, it just doesn’t seem to fit into DMC5 nor the series as a whole.
The song by itself outside of the game’s context, is… okay. To be generous, it’s a somewhat serviceable deathcore track; one that’s better than most of the material from Suicide Silence’s disastrous self-titled record. (Though, that really ain’t saying much). However, the vocal performances and the song’s mix do not help matters. Other than the mix featuring really placid instrumentals, the vocals are far too out in the foreground. The squealing high-pitched screams don’t fit a DMC soundtrack, nor do the weird drawly sung vocals that show up later on either. (If anything, these moments make me worried Eddie Hermida has lost all of his vocal chops). The song’s overall tempo is too sluggish and rhythmically not energetic enough to reflect the fast, free-flowing combo systems that these games base their gameplay off. I can see what Cody/the band was going for with the electronic wobbles and filters used, but they distract from the song and hearing that in-game maybe wouldn’t gel with the on-screen action.
However, this negative response was the least of their issues. With a far more serious matter than ‘Subhuman‘ being a bad song coming forward.
As it turns out, DMC5’s publisher and developer, Capcom, wasn’t aware of the sexual misconduct allegations against Eddie Hermida. For those who don’t know or remember the situation, here’s what happened. An Austrian woman, Verena Celis, claimed she was “emotionally and sexually manipulated” by Eddie while she was 17 and he was 32. In her original statement, Celis noted she’d begun talking with the frontman online when she was 16, and at one point Eddie mistakenly assumed she was 18 – she didn’t correct him that she was 17 – alleging that he began sending her explicit photos and eventually asked for her to send him images in return. (In his apology, Eddie stated: “I apologize, first and foremost, to Verena, that she feels hurt, manipulated, and otherwise distressed by any of our past communication“, and that he was ashamed of himself.)
Regarding this resurfacing matter, Capcom issued this statement on why they dropped ‘Subhuman‘ from DMC5, as they now consider other options for the soundtrack, saying:
“The music was recorded for the game before the incident came to light and we were unaware of the incident until now. However, as we are now aware of the current situation, Capcom has decided that moving forward, we will not further highlight the Dante battle theme for promotional purposes at this time. We are also currently evaluating what options are possible for the full game at this point, which is dependent on various factors such as resources.”
This is definitely one of those instances were a past issue has resulted in consequences of the now. That being said, this upcoming game is Capcom’s own IP, and they have every right to drop the song and sever any association with the band business-wise.
Devil May Cry 5 is set to land on March 8th, 2019. At this sad rate, it’ll be interesting to see if Suicide Silence even has a career come Mach 2019. Maybe a ‘No Time To Bleed‘ ten-year anniversary tour is due? Anyway, here’s the band’s recent horrific ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ cover that I truly wish was a joke.