Suicide Silence

The Black Crown

01. Slaves to Substance
02. O.C.D.
03. Human Violence
04. You Only Live Once
05. Fuck Everything
06. March To The Black Crown
07. Witness The Addiction
08. Cross-Eyed Catastrophe
09. Smashed
10. The Only Thing That Sets Us Apart
11. Cancerous Skies

[Century Media]

Suicide Silence catch the ire of many a metal fan, myself included. I can’t say I can blame anyone who does on passing, with relentless breakdowns and an annoying birdlike frontman who doesn’t have much of an employment prospect available outside of being a vocalist. Luckily for him, Suicide Silence is doing just fine, and if The Black Crown is any indication, they will continue to be.

Let it be known that I’m no fan of the group, but I’ve been on a roll lately of giving bands their fair chance in reviews, so I figured “eh, why not look into them a bit more?” It has been my experience so far that the bands that catch the biggest shit in the world of the metal elite hardly deserve it. I’ve defended the likes of Slipknot, Korn, Whitechapel, and iwrestledabearonce in the past because, in my honest opinion, there’s absolutely no harm in any of these bands. Design the Skyline and The Bunny The Bear on the other hand… but I digress. The point here today is Suicide Silence‘s new album, The Black Crown, actually isn’t as terrible as everyone expects (or wants) it to be.

From a musical standpoint, there’s no reason to be wasting energy by actively hating this music. The guitar work, when not giving the breakdowns their roundabout, is actually sometimes interesting. Huge catchy riffs sprout up across The Black Crown, and there’s often some pretty killer groove being made. Hell, there are even a couple of killer leads and solos that offer some surprising change in rhythmic tone and are tastefully done, capturing some ambiance along the way. Unfortunately, there are about as many good riffs as there are obnoxious breakdowns and simplistic chugging, but it’s not all trite.

The Black Crown suffers the most in vocalist Mitch Lucker’s lyrics and delivery. He’s too loud in the mix, and his high register screaming obscures the music behind him. This wouldn’t be too bad if his entire presence wasn’t obnoxious in itself, with lyrics so bad that even a young Corey Taylor would be embarrassed. “Fuck Everything” is the epitome of angsty nu-metal lyrics, which is just juvenile and offers little substance for anyone that isn’t twelve.

Metalsucks had it right when they said that Suicide Silence were the Slipknot of deathcore. The Black Crown is what bridges the divide between nu-metal and deathcore in both music and lyric. Suicide Silence no doubt grew up on nu-metal acts like Korn and Slipknot, and getting Jonathan Davis on board for a track (“Witness the Addiction”) must have been quite the treat, but unlike Whitechapel’s collaboration with Deftones‘ Chino Moreno, the outcome wasn’t as great as it could have been— and this coming from someone who holds the opinion that Korn is a better band than Suicide Silence.

Regardless, The Black Crown actually isn’t all that offensive. It isn’t particularly great, but anyone who would go out of their way to do more than to criticize this record is wasting valuable time spent listening to something that matters. Longtime Suicide Silence fans should probably dig The Black Crown, but everyone else should probably use their common sense and stick to what they enjoy. The Black Crown is more or less your average deathcore album—nothing more; nothing less. The kids’ll dig it, though.

Suicide Silence – The Black Crown gets…


– JR


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