The curious hybrid genre of deathcore has had a much shorter lifespan in the limelight than its big brother, metalcore, and its strained cousin, post-hardcore.
But, for a brief moment in modern metal history, it was one of the most popular heavy subgenres from 2008, with bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Job For A Cowboy, All Shall Perish, Despised Icon, and As Blood Runs Black attracting teenage-heavy crowds all over the world.
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A diamond-crusted fusion of death metal and hardcore punk, many of its flagship bands have since expanded and refined their sound, with Job For A Cowboy moving further into death metal territory and Bring Me The Horizon ditching the tag entirely to become a huge presence in modern rock music. A genre tag's merely a tag, after all, and bands were already tired from the onset that they were frequently labeled "deathcore".
One of deathcore's biggest bands, Suicide Silence, had its future briefly up in jeopardy when their iconic lead singer Mitch Lucker met a fatal accident in 2012. But the band found themselves a new vocalist in Eddie Hermida, who also serves as the frontman of All Shall Perish.
Pushing out a serviceable album You Can't Stop Me in 2014, carrying their tradition of nihilistic lyrics and downtuned guitars, the band have since been hard at work on their upcoming self-titled album.
While fans have embraced Hermida as the band's new grizzled frontman, their reaction to the band's newest singles has been — to put it lightly — unpleasant.
Angry tweets and Facebook comments abound, but there is also a petition to prevent the release of the album. “Please let this be a joke and release something real. Something with effort. Something we all know you're more than capable of," says one petitioner. Some are even comparing it to Metallica's infamous 2003 album, St. Anger, despite it not even officially released.
Putting aside the headache-inducing levels of elitism that's still alive in many corners of metal, these singles aren't exactly great either. Embracing clean vocals, polished studio production, and a change in lyrical themes, the new Suicide Silence definitely has strains of early-2000s nu metal, which remains the most controversial metal subgenre to date.
Vocalist Hermida, usually excelling in executing rumbling growls and textured screams, sounds painfully awkward trying to pull off a melodic chorus in 'Doris'. He does improve in 'Silence', which almost exclusively features clean vocals, but his performance has also invited unflattering comparisons to Korn's Jonathan Davis.
Instead of expanding further on the songs, we thought it'd be appropriate to reach out to some Singaporean musicians to chime in. Here's what members of Forests, The Caulfield Cult, 7nightsatsea and Villes have to say.
DARELL LASER / FORESTS
Okay, when Suicide Silence 'Doris', I heard some comments about it being shitty and all. But I couldn't be bothered because I wanted to listen to it with an open mind, and I'm totally fine can if a band wants to change direction. I also understand that you can't please errrrbody.
But aaaaaaaaaanyway, I listened to 'Doris' and the intro still has that SS deathcore vibe, even though it's nothing fantastic — there's quite bland riffing but it's still heavy and shiz and the verse is kinda groovy which I can still dig. They wanna go a bit nu-metal? Yeah it's cool, but damn, when the first note of the clean singing chorus hits, I couldn't believe what I just heard hahaha. It reminded me of Deftones somehow.
If I didn't know it was SS, I would've thought I was listening to Slipknot or Korn. I think this is a bad comeback song for SS. They wanted to show people that they are changing direction from their usual fierce deathcore sound when Mitch (Lucker) was around. But this is really like the St. Anger of deathcore. This song sounds like a filler track. BAD COMEBACK SONG! (IMHO)
Their second single 'Silence' lmaoz goddamn, the intro sounds fierce even though the riff is nothing special. But when the verse comes goddamn, is this Suicide silence??? or Slipknot Silence??? I have to admit they're really bold with this change but they sound like a totally different band. I think it's just like how Bring Me The Horizon used to be deathcore last time but now they are like a pop rock band. I understand why old Suicide Silence fans are upset, it's like they have gone full nu-metal — like a song from the early 2000s, by Godsmack, Korn, or Disturbed.
It sounds like lazy songwriting!! The chorus is quite catchy, but I can only understand if Korn wrote this song. To imagine Suicide Silence doing this, it just sucks. But then again life goes on, you can't please everybody. Change is the only constant.
Wah suddenly I so deep. Okay, I should be silence now.
Can we take a one minute of silence for the death of SUICIDE SILENCE?
NICHOLAS WONG / THE CAULFIELD CULT
Before I listened to the tracks, I had to do a bit of research about this "controversy" and the band's music. i was thinking to myself that there's no way anybody in the right mind would want to listen to more than two deathcore records in a lifetime.
Neither of the new tracks sounded any good, but there comes a point in every band's career where they should alienate a portion of their fanbase and weed out all the idiots — almost like a cleansing, or a purge if you will.
Said idiots are the ones who think a change in a metal band's style of music is any controversy at all. It's the band's own fault to choose to play music for a living though.
All the best, Hail Satan.
BRYAN ULRIC STA MARIA / VILLES
My last proper encounter with Suicide Silence was when they dropped 'You Only Live Once' and all I know about Eddie Hermida is that he slayed in All Shall Perish.
When I heard 'Doris' and 'Silence' I wasn’t shocked by the clean vocals or the lack of blast beats. It was the production that kinda threw me off. I get that they wanted a “back to the roots/raw” kinda thing and that Ross Robinson is a nu-metal production god.
But when compared to the previous album where everything kicked like a “Kopi-Kao”. The oomph just lacked with these 2 singles. Not sure if it’s the mix or just picking/getting better vocal takes.
But for all those hating on the song cause it isn’t “Suicide Silence-y” or “Brutal” enough — first off, it’s definitely music that 2017's Suicide Silence wants to write and maybe it’s just not the Suicide Silence you want them to be.
Secondly, chill lah bro it’s only “Korn-ish/Manson”-type vocals. At least there weren’t 808s and a saxophone solo (reference to BMTH’s 'Oh No') LULZ (I fucking love all the eras of BMTH.)
Lastly, metal is a genre of defiance. Wanting them to conform would be way too ironic.
MARK GABRIEL ONG / VILLES
First of all, it really disheartens me that fans of Suicide Silence are dissing the songs just because it doesn't sound as heavy as when Mitch Lucker was on vocals. As much as the fans love their heavy deathcore/metalcore growls and guitar riffs, they should also take into consideration that songs being written by the band had to be altered to gel with their new vocalist.
Secondly, the two songs are still as heavy and there's still that perfect “headbanging” groove towards it. There are now clean vocals to the song but it still sounds great. Yes, it is a lot less heavier, but music, in general, is evolving and will always be a way for people to express themselves. If the guys from SS write songs like these, who are we to judge them?
DAMIAN STEVEN / 7NIGHTSATSEA/WIDOWER'S PALMS
I totally support their move because it stands on its own in the genre. The vocals sound live and human and the drums do not like a goddamn machine gun.
Working the almighty Ross Robinson, who was responsible for classics like Korn’s S/T, ATDI’s Relationship Of Command and Norma Jean’s Redeemer, it is very natural for the record to stray from the mainstream metal vibes.
Even if those records did not sit well on initial listens, they grew to be very very solid albums that aged well. I think they would be betraying themselves as artists if they were still writing the same songs that they did in 2002. Bands should take risks to push themselves with every record and find new sounds.
After being together for 15 years, they have to evolve and keep things exciting for themselves. I feel bad for everyone that got so butthurt though.