Combining grindcore, death metal and hardcore, 2007’s The Cleansing left pretty much a landmark in its scene. Suicide Silence began taking over the whole world by touring with bands such as Parkway Drive, Carcass, Suffocation, Chimaira and Behemoth. Two years after the release they found the time in between their busy touring schedule to get back in the studio to try and top their debut album. If they succeeded in matching their first success?
The album kicks off straight in your face with ‘Wake Up’, but is taken over by breakdowns pretty soon. And that’s the problem I witness on the whole album actually. The Cleansing had a lot of fast brutal death metal parts and some grind elements including catchy hooks and well placed breakdowns every now and then. But No Time To Bleed steps away from these elements and turns into an Emmure or The Acacia Strain-like wall of breakdowns. Some of these, like in ‘Suffer’, sound pretty well placed, just like the previous album. But in tracks like ‘…And Then She Bled’ and ‘Lifted’ things are starting to work on my nerves. Maybe it’s the weed they’ve been smoking but the album overall sounds very very very stoned, especially on the one-chord breakdown parts. On the other hand, singer Mitch Lucker sounds like he was kept off the weed because it must be said, he’s got one of the most brutal voices in death metal nowadays, but I feel like he’s in the wrong band for this type of voice. Especially on fast grinding parts like the start of ‘Genocide’ his vocal capacities can be heard best, instead of the slower moments (and believe me, there are a lot of those unfortunately).
Where The Cleansing was just plain drums, guitars and bass, No Time To Bleed is filled with all kinds of samples at the beginning and ending of the tracks. An idea that might have been stolen from Behemoth when they were on tour? The end of ‘Smoke’ for example sounds exactly like a sample Behemoth would use and the layered drums at the end of ‘Wake Up’ are also one of these Behemoth-examples. It must be said that the guitar solos sometimes sound very misplaced as well. Like in ‘Suffer’, where in one of the rare fast parts they suddenly put a very prominent guitar solo on top of it, unlike in the dry breakdowns on the rest of the album. The simple guitar chords just can’t match the standards in this kind of genre that bands like All Shall Perish, Despised Icon or The Red Chord have set. Besides Mitch’s outstanding vocal parts, there’s technically absolutely nothing interesting about this album. The lack of the technical guitar capabilities and boring drum parts are being washed away by a crystal clear over production (especially on the drum parts) that makes it lose its death metal roots even more. The most death metal about this album are probably the track titles, that all sound like one big cliché.
I’ve heard much worse albums than No Time To Bleed these days, but the 37 minutes of breakdowns make me feel like sleeping rather than banging my head. The Cleansing had its great moments, fast parts, catchy hooks and overall just a simple usage of the instrumentation, but No Time To Bleed turns out to be slow, over-produced and the songs fail to sound catchy enough to be remembered. Shame for such a promising band after a great debut album, but I have to say: don’t believe the hype!