Ah, the long-vaunted return to Deathcore form for Suicide Silence. Or is it? I’m sure the cynics and naysayers have already written off Become the Hunter (Nuclear Blast) as a simple effort to save face after the experimental and pseudo-Nu-metal stylings of 2017’s Suicide Silence. But let’s really get down to brass tacks here: Suicide Silence isn’t the first or last band to hit the soft reboot button on their careers.
We all danced in the streets when Metallica started feeling like a Thrash metal outfit again on Death Magnetic. Machine Head resurrected itself with the crunch and melody of Through the Ashes of Empires and may need to pull this off again in the wake of Catharsis. So, I’m not opposed to realizing that a new creative path didn’t pan out and going back to the basics.
And you know what else, sometimes its perfectly okay to veer off and try something new. Sepultura found a new layer of sound and fandom by teaming up with the polarizing Ross Robinson on Roots. Yeah, the same Robinson of Indigo Ranch fame who produced Suicide Silence’s maligned (or misunderstood) self-titled.
What you need to know about Become the Hunter is that it is a return to the chunky rhythms, caustic double-kick drums and frantic lead guitars of their early days. But what elevates it from a cash-grab or easy way out is how it feels tighter and more focused than You Can’t Stop Me or The Black Crown. ‘Meltdown’ does indeed meld nicely into ‘Two Steps’ and Eddie Hermida is back into alternating guttural lows with piercing shrieks. ‘Feel Alive’ and ‘Skin Tight’ groove with a ferocity and pile on the drum acrobatics like a hungry Despised Icon.
But you want to know something? There’s still trace elements of nu-metal influence here too like there’s always has for Suicide Silence. That opening riff on ‘Death’s Anxiety’ seems like it was on the Korn curriculum.
What did we learn? Suicide Silence can still pull from the slamming death and nu-metal of their youth. I see this as an absolute win.
7 / 10