Sound — 9
Suicide Silence were one of the primary bands to have brought the deathcore sound to the general masses. Along with other bands like job for a cowboy, the acacia strain and whitechapel, they popularized the blast-beat-breakdown combination that has become so prevalent in today's heavy music. Their first record, the cleansing, was the epitome of this style and went for the full on heavy approach with the disgustingly distorted guitars and tremolo picked chromatic riffs coupled with dissonant, groove driven breakdowns. This style also omitted, for the most part, any real lead guitar parts (with notable exceptions being the interlude in the fallen and the outro to no pity for a coward) and was essentially a rhythm driven record. The sludgy production of the cleansing also detracted from the album as a whole, though it was certainly an adequate debut effort. Now, having achieved success and being a band that most metalhead has at least heard of, machine (with production credits of lamb of god, every time i die and others) was enlisted to give the band a tracked, tight record. And so he did. No Time to Bleed is an album that is heavy, yet clean, chaotic yet tight. It really is a production delight...no rhyme intended. While essentially remaining the same rhythm based style as the Cleansing, Suicide Silence (namely lead guitarist mark) has tried to incorporate a few more leads into the tracks, which is refreshing, considering their scarcity in previous attempts. the songs wake up and disengage are perfect examples. Wake up contains a solo at the end and some decent chordings throughout and disengage boasts a melodic, almost middle eastern lead. While by no means technical or difficult, these leads embellish the tracks and stray from the onslaught of chugging and blasts that make up the majority of suicide silence's sound. And after all, the band is going for balls out heavy, so it would be ridiculous to expect progressive altered arpeggios and meshuggah-like rhythms to be present. The album was tracked using an 8-string Ibanez on behalf of mark (I'm not sure whether or not garza used one as well). While this is becoming increasingly common, it is a little refreshing to see a band still use a standard tuning rather than dropping the sh-t out of their guitars. While Suicide Silence certainly hasn't broken the mold that they set for the cleansing, they have put a couple of new elements into it, and have at least produced a different take on the same basic foundation.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on the album are fairly typical of the genre. In most cases they depict a situation where someone is lost and the narrator is seeing this (lifted). Mitch has diversified his lyrical themes somewhat, with drug influences present (lifted, smoke, wasted etc). It seems The band seems to be moving towards a more drug-related image in their merch and songwriting, which I am not personally a fan of, but thats neither here nor there. In keeping with old suicide silence, there is much repetition when it comes to the delivery of the lyrics. This is evident in most of the songs but the songs wake up, lifted and disengage come to mind. The lines wake up! wake up! ... this is not your reality ... disengage ... are all repeated numerous times throughout their respective songs. If I can be so bold, they lyrics and screaming is the aspect of the band that has changed the least, not that this is a bad thing though. Personally, I have always like mitch's bi-polar delivery and vocal style. On this album, like the cleansing, his voice goes from very high to very low. However, there is very little middle ground, and this may upset some people who want a less extreme vocal delivery. In some cases the lyrics could be stronger, but for what the lyrics lack the voice singing them makes up for it.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all, No Time to Bleed is a better produced, slightly more diverse The Cleansing. Nothing has really changed, there is just more added into the mix. If you are anti-deathcore, which seems to be the trend among metalheads nowadays, then don't pick up the album and we won't have to listen to you bitch about how this isn't metal and blah blah blah. We get it. Go listen to metallica and iron maiden to satisfy your metal musical tastes. For everyone else, this is a solid second effort from a solid band. The drumming is intense, and I assume the bass is decent as well (though its kinda buried under the sonic shock of the rest of the band). Certainly enjoyable if you like the cleansing. If nothing else, these new songs will make for a kick ass live show. Check it out.