Do band names mean anything in the music industry? Some would argue yes, while others would argue that the most simple or blatantly silly named bands create some of the best music out there. I'll leave that up to debate between the readers, but even though today's review comes from a band with a seemingly generic name, the music portrays quite the contrary.
Hailing from good old San Antonio, TX, come Silence the Messenger. The five-piece deathcore outfit has been around since 2010 and hasn't quite made a lasting impression on the heavier music scene thus far. After signing a record deal with Standby Records and having their first full-length album, Achilles, releasing in just under two weeks (October 15), it just might be this band's time to create that lasting impression. Deathcore bands have become a dime a dozen these days and it has become increasingly difficult to find bands that actually stand out or create something for us that doesn't sound like it was recorded with a potato. Silence the Messenger isn't one of those "potato" bands and Achilles has all kinds of different aspects that collectively come together to create a stellar and heavy album.
While I've been praising the band so far, the album does start off with a lackluster one-minute intro that didn't provide us with anything; there was no real atmosphere or anything. It could have easily just been omitted. Don't be disappointed, though, as the album does pick up with the next few tracks. The band includes heavy and well-done breakdowns with nice lead-ups, and the tracks don't drag on for an immense amount of time. A common theme on Achilles is how vocalist Steve Tinnon leads up or finishes breakdowns with a very raspy and growled spoken vocal bit – an element that makes those breakdowns just a little bit cooler than the average deathcore band's.
Silence the Messenger constructs their songs much better than a majority of underground bands. Through many of the songs, I heard influences ranging from Impending Doom to new Silence, and even Upon a Burning Body because of how a few of the breakdowns came out – all top-notch bands to take influence from, in my mind. The vocal range was also excellent throughout the entire release. It never quite stuck with one general vocal style; it switched up frequently and gave each of the songs just that much more strength to them, though the first half of Achilles was probably the strongest. In the second half, I found myself zoning out during some of the songs and was not able to pay attention to what was going on simply because, even though everything was so well produced and well constructed, it started to sound too similar to the first half.
Achilles is one of those albums that will definitely appease your need for a heavy dosage of music, but it's also one of them that you might not remember a few hours after listening to it. There was just something about it that didn't make me want to consistently listen to it on repeat. I found myself listening to the whole thing and then switching in a few other artists before going back to it so I could get a fresh dose of something before heading back into it. The album contains everything a lover of this scene will appreciate. It has "bleghs," in-your-face breakdowns and angry lyrics that make you want to smash a chair over your sister's back. It's definitely worth spinning for a while, but if you're like myself, you may find yourself scrolling past the album on a regular basis.