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On their third album, ‘The Black Crown,’ Suicide Silence have moved away slightly from the ferocious deathcore sounds of their past efforts and experimented a little more, even bringing in guest vocalists, which has given them their most interesting record to date.
The style change, which is still very metal and contains plenty of blastbeats and intricate guitar work, incorporates more spacious musical sections which is a step forward for the band’s arrangement talents. There were hints of this present on the last release, 2009’s ‘No Time To Bleed,’ and whilst the newer songs have more standard structures, when they do step out, they do it in style.
Some may put this down to the influence of producer Steve Evetts (Hatebreed, Dillinger Escape Plan), who has managed to convince the band to incorporate many different versions of metal into the album’s sound. You could even go so far as to say this is the new Nu Metal, with the crown being handed over personally by Korn’s disturbed front man Jonathan Davis who offers his unique vocal styling in the song Witness The Addiction.
The band have always maintained a heavy groove in their music and opening track Slaves To Substance is no exception, which begins the record with a powerful wall of sound. Two of the standouts come early with Human Violence and You Only Live Once, which have all band members working on overdrive, before the mid-section where things get a little lost.
The group have tried to combat the monotony of the last few tracks by bringing in guest vocalists such as Alexia Rodriguez of Eyes Set To Kill on Cross-Eyed Catastrophe and Frank Mullen from Suffocation on Smashed. Whilst the guests offer excellent performances which do provide a break from the familiar vocal tones of the record, the songs themselves are not very exciting.
You can tell that Suicide Silence are working as hard as they can to breath new life into the deathcore genre on ‘The Black Crown,’ and they are very close to doing so. The only thing letting them down is their heavy reliance on ideas from the past when they should be trying to use them to create sounds of the future.
1. Slaves to Substance
3. Human Violence
4. You Only Live Once
5. Fuck Everything
6. March to the Black Crown
7. Witness the Addiction
8. Cross-Eyed Catastrophe
10. The Only Thing That Sets Us Apart
11. Cancerous Skies