“It’s more…to do with crowning ourselves as the king of what we do” says Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker. It seems that he is adamant that The Black Crown should not be seen as a change in direction, but a consolidation of what the band have achieved over the years. It is a mysterious way of introducing what is only their third album, drawing a line under and championing themselves above other bands of a similar sound – some of whom are their friends. Just who do they think they are, eh? The last time I heard such a claim was by metallic hardcore nutters Full Blown Chaos during the release of their album Heavy Lies The Crown, and I certainly wasn’t going to go toe-to-toe with beefy vocalist Ray Mazzola over it. I am sure the vitriolic and anonymous fans of the internet will let Mitch know if they disagree.
In any case, being consistent is surely a good thing. No one seems to mind when Devildriver or Lamb of God release albums that are very similar in sound and technique, and this is what Lucker is looking for. “Every time you put a Slipknot CD in your CD player, you know it’s Slipknot. Every time you put a Deftones CD in your CD player, you know it’s the Deftones. With this record, we are crowning ourselves with…our sound.”
Sure enough, this does sound very similar to past releases. The visceral brutality of some tracks from the earliest releases have made way for a continued death metal/core attack, but with a more groove metal influence. It certainly has moments of heavier early 2000s moments of “nu-metal”, such as on “O.C.D”. The band enjoy artists such as Korn and Slipknot so it isn’t any surprise to hear the faintest of influences amongst the strong choruses and the angular riffs; Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis can also be found on track “Witness The Addiction”.
Conceptually, the album doesn’t stray too far from the creation of No Time To Bleed. Lucker’s lyrics again concern the more personal thoughts rather than any anti-religious furore that can be found on The Cleansing. Again the band wanted to again channel their live performance and crowd reaction back into their recordings, picking out what the fans enjoy at the shows and then working from there. Guitarist Mark Heylmun has said that “for us, it has always been about not trying to go over people’s heads. We’re musicians that are semi-lazy. We don’t want to go up there and have to think too hard.” So simple, bruising riffs seems to be the key for this. What has changed is the attention to the recording. Out has gone producer Machine, who relied too heavily on the digital side of recording, and in has come in Steve Evett who has been instrumental in getting math-metallers The Dillinger Escape Plan in one place for long enough to record an album or two. Suicide Silence utilised all their “live tones” to get almost exactly the sort of sound on tape as you would witness at a gig. With breakdowns galore, this album will please existing fans.
Suicide Silence’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suicidesilence
Century Media Records’ Website: http://www.centurymedia.com