If only it could become something else
It’s been a cold and somewhat lonely deathcore world since we lost former Suicide Silence frontman, Mitch Lucker, all those years ago. He had one of the most versatile voices in deathcore, and Suicide Silence—and the whole genre, in general—just haven’t been the same over the last near-decade without him. That isn’t to say that who succeeded him, Hernan “Eddie” Hermida of All Shall Perish fame hasn’t been making an honest effort (his sexual allegations are a whole other story). Not counting his contribution to the Mitch Lucker Memorial Show, his band debut You Can’t Stop Me was a headbanging oath of a band left in good hands. After 2017’s entirely too nu-metal fumble of a self-titled record, we’ve landed at Become the Hunter and it sees them finally finding their footing, so to speak. But even though they’ve stepped closer to the level of impact they used to be at, they’re still nowhere near redemption.
“Two Steps” is a pretty pit-worthy track, bouncing back and forth between screeching highs and barreling lows typical of some of Suicide Silence’s best work. There’s even a little bit of a breakdown, though it’s not as encompassing as it could be. “Feel Alive” starts with a chugging riff that leads into shredding sweeps, giving nice energy running through to mid-album. It’s at this point where Become the Hunter is at peak mid-2000s deathcore—“Love Me to Death” and “In Hiding” could cause the vilest Wall of Death with blast beats and riffs that hit so heavy. That goodness doesn’t last for long though, as the latter end of the record sounds more like their 2017 blunder.
That’s because of melodic moments on “The Scythe” and “Skin Tight” that just don’t mesh with the rest of the record. It’s much less about execution and more of a general misplacement in the first place. Suicide Silence somewhat reel it back in with certain parts of “Serene Obscene,” yet other parts—namely, the acoustic guitar that opens it up—make it sound more like a caricature of a Suicide Silence song than an actual one. Then there’s “Disaster Valley,” which is a plain ol’ speed metal song.
Become the Hunter is a fine release for Suicide Silence, especially when compared to the experiment gone wrong of the record that came before it. Still, it doesn’t make up for it, and it doesn’t make us miss Mitch any less.