No Time To Bleed
6 July 2009
by Hugh Platt
Let’s take a moment to consider why ‘deathcore’ is considered a dirty word in extreme metal circles. Is it really because it’s an over-saturated fly-by-night sub-genre, a microcosmic category of extreme metal that’s set to burn itself due to its inherent lack of invention? Or is it because suddenly it meant that extreme metal shows, previously the sole concern of the bearded’n’beer-gutted, were suddenly full of young people? Rake-thin tattoo’d people with….haircuts. And then some girls showed up. Death Metal purists hadn’t spent years in dark basements the world over, windmilling their matted mullets to Death, Obituary and Morbid Angel so that GIRLS could come to shows.
But to give Suicide Silence short-shrift for supposedly being the standard bearers of deathcore does no favours to either the judge or the judged. Rather than doing what we’ve coquettishly dubbed “doing a Job For Cowboy“, and ditching the deathcore for a more trad death metal sound, Suicide Silence have used it as a foundation to build No Time To Bleed upon. Their former-contemporaries in the deathcore scene might’ve got overly concerned with how to next screw a generic breakdown onto the back of yet another burst of pig-squealing, but Suicide Silence have plotted and primed this release with the precision and obsession of a serial killer planning the massacre of his next victim.
Sure, the breakdowns are still there – the less-than-subtle sonic happyslap of the album’s opener ‘Wake Up’ has a gutful of them – but for every moment of predictability, there’s something like the swirling guitar echoes and epic drum work that puncture ‘Lifted’. The entire record in fact owes a debt of gratitude to the stickwork of drummer Alex Lopez, his fills and blastbeats adding the equivalent of a pair of brass knuckles to Suicide Silence’s monstrous beatdowns.
The thick wall of fuzz that ‘Suffer’ fades out to, much like a TV slowly tuning out to a dead channel, is the first sign that selecting the Lamb Of God-endorsed Machine as producer has provided Suicide Silence with whole surgery full of new musical implements to experiment on their audience with. These range from simple distortion effects their debut shied away from, though to most deranged of all – the harrowing samples that pepper ‘…And Then She Bled’. Basing the track around snippets of a genuine 911 call where a woman hysterically describes her pet chimpanzee eating her best friend’s face off (yes, really), Suicide Silence ably walk the line between bite-sized riffery, and plain ol’ fucked-up weirdness.
Watch Thrash Hits TV: Suicide Silence @ Download Festival 2009
But perhaps most importantly of all, No Time To Bleed makes no apologies for its popularist approach to extreme metal. Many internet shit-talkers have misinterpreted frontman Mitch Lucker’s insistence that Suicide Silence are “pushing extreme metal as far as it can go” as a misguided boast that his band are somehow on the bleeding edge of experimental heaviness, but that’s not what he means at all. Lucker et al are pushing extreme metal by pushing it onto as wide an audience as possible. Ever mindful of what won them their fans in the first place, Suicide Silence have been careful to develop that sound, rather than abandon it – ensnaring new followers is clearly on their agenda; losing existing ones definitely isn’t.
Like an out-of-control Olympic Hammer thrower, Suicide Silence have been building momentum for some time now, but it’s only now they’re letting loose that you realise it’s almost too late to get out of their way. No Time To Bleed is more than capable of cracking your ribs and splitting your skull wide open – but only if you’re prepared to let it.
Sounds like: Whitechapel, Bring Me The Horizon, the internet endlessly bitching over genre-semantics
Top tracks: Lifted, Suffer, …And Then She Bled
Suicide Silence – No Time To Bleed tracklisting
No Time To Bleed
…And Then She Bled