Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence [REVIEW]

What is arguably going to be the most controversial record in its musical field, Suicide Silence are here to show off their versatility and show off something else that the fans will most likely criticise. With it now seeming the band going into a direction and create something they have always wanted to, have they made something that will good light or will it be just another backlash to add to their list?

The first two songs on the record are the tracks that people have already heard and are banging their heads against the desks in pain. ‘Doris’ starts off with a very strange intro to the album as a whole, but once the track kicks in it flows a lot more groovy in its album writing. The live recording of the entire album is a main feature throughout with the band having some off the cuff touches. Whilst the ‘tee-hee’ vocal parts can be a bit off putting, the more noticeable cleans have a decent tone on them and once the bass sections flows through, the sound on that is such a nice flavour to the song. The guitar effects can take away at some points with the flanger/phaser sound being a weird placement. As it flows straight into the next track ‘Silence’ the heavy intro is a mosh pit waiting to happen and gives a throwback to their older material. Then the verses have a distinct nu-metal sound within its walls and as the vocals flow really nicely on some of it, at points it can feel a bit off putting. With the KoRn/Deftones names thrown around as comparisons for sections, it does come off but at the same time it feels a bit upsetting comparing these disingenuous sections to those bands.

Listen’ opens up the unheard songs with the bounce of the drum patterns and the distortion of the guitars, which at some point feel muddy at time. The bass and vocal heavy sections feel full of raw emotion and punch through, and feel when the guitars start chugging, it has that moment of feeling like some angsty metalcore with the high screams getting a bit eye wincing at points. Then there are these parts that have some uncouth chanting singing bits in the background with the more spoken word element having a sprinkle of seasoning to the otherwise already salty dish. The ending minute of this track feels ripped out of the ‘Issues’ era of KoRn music, dubbing a nice nostalgic feel. Arguably one of the better tracks on the record is most likely the softest song you’ll ever hear from the band. ‘Dying In A Red Room’ is beautifully written and gives a much darker tone without having to utilise so much of their heavier accolades. The Deftones influence is much more apparent in this track and even with a taste of the band Tool coming into full effect. The only downside of this song is the ending when the sound of Eddie’s vocals make him come across like a dying computer.

With the band asking for less feedback, ‘Hold Me Up Hold Me Down’ kicks off with some feedback before the guitars kick in and bring something that is an enjoyable listen, but as the song goes on, the bands structure seems to fall off the rails, with the style of vocals that Eddie does over one section feeling really out of place and makes you lose interest in the track and with an album that has quite a huge chunk of four and a half to almost six minute tracks, being something that grips the listener is something you really want. What might surprise a lot of listeners is that there is a monstrous breakdown with some of the most disgusting low vocals being produced and the guitar tone working effectively. The fact that this breakdown goes on for half of the song feels like a lack of creativity, which is amazing coming from an album that encompasses so much unique elements from so many genres. There will also be the fans who will get off on the pig squeals and blast beats, and rightly so.

Run’ is a definite throwback to the 90’s way of writing and music style with the structure of its guitars and drums with the clean vocals, like in DIARR, work a lot more as a whole when you think about how they are writing their music. The guitars are what make this track a more enjoyable experience with the tone that they use having such a great flow within it and overall becomes another enjoyable track. ‘The Zero’ uses key changes to a bit of its advantage, with about 3 different keys being used overall. The clean vocals start to fall off the rails again with the odd grunt addition and the pattern he uses not feeling like it flows with the track for most of the song. The panning of the guitars get a bit more of a pulsating motion in the verses and the instrumentation push a bit more, with the choruses being a very solid listen, especially with the screams. The ending of the tracks poses a bit more of an exciting side of the band, with the guitar buildups muted and tremolo picked with the selected drum pattern helping put a few more wheels in motion.

The final two tracks are the bands final clasps and with ‘Conformity’, it starts to show off the more enjoyable side of their softer material and with the addition of the acoustic guitars, it adds a more seductive element to it. Once again, the instrumentation builds so much around it being a great track and the clean vocals for 85% of the track really give an argument to them pushing more of that side of them and whilst the track has notions of the calmer side of Metallica in the linear parts of it all as well, unfortunately the time aspect of the track feels a lot more dragging than it does gripping. The final track goes on a heavier tirade and has a more death metal aspect to it much like ‘The Cleansing’ album era. The old school fans of the band will definitely be gripped to this track with its ferocity and its stylistic approach with the blast beats and pounding triplets. ‘Dont Be Careful You Might Hurt Yourself’ is undoubtedly one of the heaviest tracks on the record and closes the album on a very tribal note, with the whistling and the sounds of clinking instruments.

You have to applaud the band. They have made something that is the path they want to go and invoke a lot of stylistic endeavours that will no doubt be great in their future releases. The fact of the matter is though that the live recording, a certain amount of clean vocals, some parts of the guitar tones and the overall attraction of many influences turn this album into a bit on an audible calamity. The band have set a new bar for themselves musically, but it honestly won’t be hard to beat.

[4/10]

Tool Drummer Suffers Serious Staph Infection

Drummer Danny Carey of the almighty Tool is currently suffering from a painful Staph Infection. As anyone who has had such an infection knows, this is an agonizing condition but regardless, Mr Carey ploughed on and made it through the band’s slot at Aftershock Festival in Sacramento.

 Great crowd at #AfterShock festival. Thank you Sacramento I truly have to respect Mr #DannyCarey who played the entire show with a very serious Staph Infection. At first on Friday morning he was misdiagnosed with a poisonous spider bite on his upper leg. Then later Friday night the quarter sized wound was cut opened & drained. By Saturday DC was still aching from head to toe & from what I heard the Local Doctor recommended we skip the show. But Dan with headaches and painful joints, played anyway.

Lets wish Danny a speedy recovery and hope and pray for a new Tool.

A History Of Metal – Alternative Metal

Alternative Metal is a brief term that encompasses a number of sub genre’s within Metal. This is a genre which takes the core ideals of Heavy Metal and mixes it with Alt Rock, various genre’s to sprout from this includes; Rap Metal, Nu Metal and Funk Metal. For the purpose of this article however, the genre will be looked at as a whole and will be seen mainly as the main encapsulating genre people generally treat as Alternative Metal. Alternative Metal is often characterised by heavy guitar riffs, mainly melodic vocals (but can also use harsh vocals), and a sense of unconventional sounds in the song structure and experimental approaches to heavy music. This often includes borrowing elements from other genres for example; Hip-Hop, Groove Metal, Grunge or Industrial Metal.

The first wave of Alternative Metal didn’t have a distinct direction or location, instead all the bands sounded completely different. These initial groups however are now more recognised as being their own sub-genres instead but during the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s they were all considered Alternative Metal.  These include Hardcore Punk (Bad Brains, Life Of Agony), Noise Rock (Helmet, White Zombie), Grunge (Alice In Chain, Soundgarden), Stoner Rock (Clutch, Kyuss), Sludge Metal (Fudge Tunnel, Melvins), Gothic Metal (Type O Negative), Art Rock (Refused) and Industrial (Ministry, Godflesh).

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Alternative Metal had it’s own sense of identity. Bands like; Fishbone, Primus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Faith No More are all credited with pushing the movement with the direction of Funk to their music. Other artists such as Soundgarden and The Melvins pioneered what was to become Grunge in which point Alternative Metal became more popular and much more mainstream. No band was as famous for doing this as Nirvana however with the release of Bleach (1989) the group showed that Alternative Metal was here to stay, and that Grunge as a powerhouse was taking over the world of Rock and Metal. This album proved that Rock was in the mainstream and with it a group of bands from Jane’s Addiction, to Soundgarden were reaping the benefits that Grunge had set out for them.

Unfortunately during this period several bands felt dissociated with Metal. These include Helmet’s drummer John Stanier who stated “We fell into the whole metal thing by accident, we always hated it when people mentioned metal in conjunction with us.”. Whilst this was happening several other events were taking place within the rock and roll landscape including the creation of Rock Festival, Lollapalooza. Which inspired new bands to gain wider rock popularity from this movement, including brand new band; Tool.

Tool released their debut album Undertow (1993) to massive success. This led for a new Progressive Metal approach to take the realm from a lot of the Grunge during this period. This unfortunately also came with the slowing down and eventual end of Grunge during the 90’s with front-man Kurt Cobain’s unfortunate suicide in 1994. Various bands however grew exposure from the ending of Grunge including; Rage Against The Machine, Primus and Nine Inch Nails. All of which arguably gave Metal huge progression and created a whole new strand within the Metal Evolution.

During this period a lot of 1980’s Thrash Metal acts were becoming disassociated with the genre including; Anthrax (Sound Of White Noise (1993)), Stomp 442 (1995)), Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (1998)) and Metallica (Load (1996)), Reload (1997), St. Anger (2003)). Even Slayer who many fans thought wouldn’t “sell out to Alternative Metal” drastically changed their sound on Undisputed Attitude (1996) and Diabolus In Musica (1998). Proving that even the classic bands weren’t going to miss out on the rise of Alternative Metal. What many missed however was the speed and ferocity that they were known for which grew to retain scepticism from both Journalists and fans. Thrash Metal had bowed to the mainstream during this period and for many people it was quite a confusing time to be a fan of the genre.

From this the cries of fans for a heavier sub-genre of Alternative Metal were heard crying through, this brought about the birth of Nu Metal. The genre would rely on elements of what made Thrash Metal great, combining it with Groove Metal and Hip Hop influences. This again would change the style of what was Alternative Metal into something now commonly known as Nu Metal. This is believed to have been spearheaded by groups such as Rage Against The Machine and picked up by (what many consider the first Nu Metal band) KoRn (S/T ((1994))). Other bands would pick up the style of music that KoRn were playing including Disturbed, Slipknot, Machine Head and Mushroomhead. Sadly by around 2003 the genre had ended and in it’s wake Metalcore was born.

Though it is believed that the Alternative Metal movement ended during this period, several bands from this genre are still headlining festivals up and around the country including; Slipknot, System Of A Down, Rammstein and Deftones. If you take any Download Festival bill it will be covered with bands within this style and that is the most impressive and lasting impact Alternative Metal has left to the general landscape of Metal.