When I was growing up not too long ago, there were plenty of bands that modern metalheads sneer at that I listened to on a regular basis like Mudvayne, Slipknot, Disturbed, and more that I still find myself listening to today, but there was always one name that I found too extreme before really getting a taste for the likes of anything intense. I jumped straight into bands like Cannibal Corpse and Amon Amarth without much problem, and I almost completely ignored a lot of bands that could help with such a transition like Suicide Silence. I’ve always had a level of respect for the band because there’s got to be a few reasons why they’re as renowned as they are, right? Yet, their style of metal has been from far anything that I’d find myself listening to, much less enjoy, on a regular basis. That’s not because I didn’t try but rather I felt Suicide Silence was maybe trying to be too edgy? I still don’t know the answer to it, but I truly do believe that, sometimes, you need to step clear out of your comfort zone to at least give a band a fair chance, and that’s how I felt about diving into “Become the Hunter”. I wanted to give this constantly spat on band a fair chance, and, to my surprise, I came out of this record with much more positive feelings than I did going in.
I’ll be completely honest with you – I was not looking forward to this album whatsoever by any means in any capacity. I listened to “You Can’t Stop Me Now” when it came out and I enjoyed it for what it was but I’ve since changed opinions about it. So, I wasn’t expecting much from Suicide Silence this time around especially after the amazingly negative response to their last release which I still haven’t listened to. But, maybe this time would be different I had thought. It’s nice to go into an album like this with an open-minded whether or not you’re dreading listening to it or not simply because who f*cking knows how you’re going to feel by the end of it all? Well, by the time I came to the closing of “Become the Hunter” I found myself feeling quite content with what I had listened to as it’s very much along the lines of what I expected with Suicide Silence presenting loads of power and emotion that, to me, suffered from trying to be too imposing in presence and execution, but it comes together quite nicely to where I, as someone who doesn’t listen to this band often whatsoever, found myself enoying this work albeit not a whole hell of a lot
Coming out of “Become the Hunter”, it’s hard for me to call it anything but an album really made for the fans who have come to love this sound that’s upfront, as loud as could be, and filled with emotion in the lyrics. Suicide Silence have long been a sort of underdog in the extreme music world for many different reasons and the emphasis of such an idea wavers from one album cycle to the next, and I really do think that they’ve made a damn good comeback given the reputation that their previous effort has gotten for itself. But, even if you’re not really into anything the likes of which is constantly on full display throughout “Become the Hunter”, there are small moments that should catch your ear even if it’s just for a few seconds. Sometimes the vocals get so low that they’d fit well at home in a solid death metal album, and they sound really f*cking good with just the general range of the vocals being fairly respectable to begin with. The strings and drums, while containing loads of power that easily get me going, sometimes suffer from just being too loud much like how a good punk song can fall right apart becaus the band doesn’t know where to pull back or how to keep their power on a proper leash. Suicide Silence are far from novices at their craft and can definitely achieve such a thing, but the whole of “Become the Hunter” feels like uncontrolled frustration that’s firing at everything in all directions, and even though that can be appealing in some instances, it falls a little flat here with only the riffs and brief moments of brevity saving the whole of this album and Suicide Silence from failing at making something interesting.
With all that being said, it becomes clear maybe halfway through that Suicide Silence dodged the massive pitfall that plagues many other bands of their style: each song sounding virtually the exact f*cking same. “Become the Hunter” narrowly avoids such criticism, and despite having its own fair share of flaws, Suicide Silence prevails the same way that they have before by showing us just how well they move together as a singular unit with their very souls being poured into the material that we’re listening to whether it be in the form of sadness, hatred, or redemption-seeking. The entirety of this album can very well be considered incredibly similar to that of human nature itself: filled with lapses in judgement that can be learned from while simultaneously having peaks that are all no less than exhilirating when they come around, and Suicide Silence knows that as they prowl from one end of “Become the Hunter” to the next with both pride and humbleness as they know damn well their creation embodies themselves as people and musicians from the present as well as the past. And, if you ask me, it makes this record stronger because of that.
02. Two Steps
03. Feel Alive
04. Love Me To Death
05. In Hiding
06. Death’s Anxiety
07. Skin Tight
08. The Scythe
09. Serene Obscene
10. Disaster Valley
11. Become The Hunter
“Become the Hunter” releases on February 14th via Nuclear Blast Records! You can pre-order the album via multiple sources here.