Artist: Silence the Messenger
Album: The Proclamation
Even in spite of the “silence” in their name, Texan quartet Silence the Messenger have an enormous burden to get off their chest. A resounding release that defies a simple “message” or “statement,” The Proclamation is exactly what one would expect from its name: an enormous display of devastating deathcore infused with a myriad metallic stylings to give it a sharp, sinister edge. One part low, bouncy groove, one part straightforward brutality and one part riff-driven metallic mayhem, Silence the Messenger sound almost like a rejuvenated take on the style of deathcore prevalent in the late 2000’s, using everything from blistering riffs and blast beats to bone-cracking chugs and brain-melting breakdowns to leave the listener in shambles, squashed beneath the belligerent onslaught that is The Proclamation.
Silence the Messager capture the savagery and skull-splitting aggression of contemporary deathcore while managing to draw from influences of yesteryear’s heroes of the genre. Tracks like the opener, “Ignite,” as well as the speedy “For the Record” see drummer Fernando Lemus leaning on lacerating blast beats and hyper speed fills to keep the track hurried and hectic. Meanwhile, “Hunters” and “The Conqueror” sound like a re-vamped Allegiance-era As Blood Runs Black, using fast kick drum and unusual time signatures to leave the listener on the edge of their seat, dropping into back-busting breakdowns at the drop of the hat—where bassist Jared Jobson’s thick, meaty bass tone adds a coating of heft and punch to Lemus’ kick drum. For the most part, Jobson’s bass stays the background, keeping up with Lemus’ lightning-like percussion—but rarely, during groovier breakdowns and riffs like those at the end of “Assertion,” or throughout the melodic anthem “Home,” Jobson can be heard harmonizing with guitarist Paolo Galang. Galangis the main source of instrumental diversity throughout The Proclamation. While Jobson and Lemus do an excellent job of providing a fun, comprehensive backdrop, it is Galang’s fretwork that sprawls from sludgy and dissonant to sharp and slicing at the drop of the hat. “Ignite” and “Hunters” see Galang infusing groovier segments with several spine-shattering breakdowns, while “Home,” “The Devil on my Shoulder” and “The Last Man Standing” are more diverse numbers that incorporate solos, shred and skin-peeing riffs aplenty. While Silence the Messenger to run into minor repetitive stretches during their lengthy twelve-track release, thanks to Galang’s fretwork and Lemus’ expertise behind the kit, they are mostly minimized.
Where Silence the Message range from quick and piercing to slow and suffocating with their comprehensive instrumental approach, frontman Steve Tinnon provides just as diverse a vocal approach, hitting soaring high screams and subterranean lows—even hitting cleans from time to time. “For the Record” sees his meaty, mid-range yell and bitter, straightforward lyricism take the lead; however, “The Last Man Standing” sees him stepping things up with several grisly growls and shrieks, shouting side by side with Upon a Burning Body’s Danny Leal. Even with several stellar guest appearances throughout The Proclamation, Tinnon’s voice remains the center of the show, always quick with an incredible one-liner (“Hunters,” “For the Record”) and a stellar range, the guest vocals are true “extras,” as Tinnon never struggles with monotony; even as he employs cleanly sung choruses on several tracks. The singing on “Home” is an example of Tinnon doing it perfectly—however “The Devil on my Shoulder” features a chorus that seems relatively forced and out of place, throwing off the otherwise firey and fast-paced nature of the song. Overall, Tinnon dominates The Proclamation, with his strong vocal performance lending to the album’s namesake.
The Proclamation is a bold album that serves as a resounding statement to the livelihood of deathcore in 2016. Varied, vicious and eviscerating from start to finish, Silence the Messenger’s brief bouts of monotonous repetition is partially remedied by an overall dynamic album by a dynamic group of musicians. “Outspoken” and “Hunters” will have the listener’s head banging so hard their neck stands a risk of snapping—while “Home” is catchy and bouncy, but still heavy enough to leave a bruise. If you spent 2015 complaining about the “lack of riffs” in contemporary deathcore, or just tire easily of breakdowns, The Proclamation is practically screaming your name—and it would be a mistake on your end to ignore it.
For Fans Of: Upon a Burning Body, As Blood Runs Black, Whitechapel, Suffokate
By: Connor Welsh