Live Review: Suicide Silence: Virtual World Tour: London!

There is something to be said for entrepreneurial spirit. In the light of the fact that tours have been cancelled left, right and centre due to travel restrictions around Corona Virus, Californian Deathcore titans Suicide Silence have got together with Bands In Town and their label Nuclear Blast and come up with a project. The concept is simple. Using Geo Gating technology to restrict where you can view from, a Virtual World Tour is in the offering. Playing shows at the time zones of the locality the tickets are sold for, priced at $10 a piece with the promise of footage never being show again anywhere else, each show promises to be a unique experience, especially as 90 minutes is the set time on offer. Add to that the option of being able to ask for tracks for specific shows and a post show hang out fan Q&A with questions being asked in advance and during the show and it becomes an even more mouthwatering prospect with “Become The Hunter” getting a live experience that fans want. The real questions are around what the experience will be like and if it will live up to the hype over say a previously released pro-shot live show on YouTube.

We have experienced Suicide Silence live before at a packed Engine Rooms in Southampton in 2018, which also happened to be our introduction to Venom Prison. We were also due to be in attendance at their Camden Underworld show that was scheduled to take place amid a summer festival run as a side show in London. The thrills and spills of the bands live show isn’t something that is lost on us at this point, while there is a certain amount of intrigue as to how this will play out. Unlike yesterdays stream from of Raging Speedhorn at Camden Underworld, the DVD pre-show footage is glitchy and freezes momentarily on the regular, something which the fans comment about (so we know it’s not just us) but what we do get its a brief glimpse at the bands upcoming career spanning DVD which features archive footage including the legendary Mitch Lucker. By the time we get to set opening “Unanswered” which tears the roof off, that glitching ends up sabotaging the band as we get a regular pauses throughout the set. However – the band don’t stop playing and we do get to watch the whole show back without the glitches later, which is a far more enjoyable experience. Hopefully that is something ironed out for the remaining shows but the London crowd take it with a light heart in the chat, opting to do a shot every time a freeze happens and getting themselves annihilated.

That’s the technical issues put to one side – The band wear their collective influences on their tees with Sepultura, System Of A Down and Decapitated each being show the highest of respect and play in a horse shoe shape, facing each other with the drum rig at the base. That means the cameras can move between them easily, focusing on each member of the band during a set which is nothing short of blistering. They promised something different with their live stream and two songs in we get the first skit – a brief moment of intermission seeing the band playing as a mariachi trio – before the band dive into their first new track in “Meltdown” before pilling into a colossal rendition of “Two Steps” that sounds bigger and badder than the album version – as it should in the live arena. “I want you to circle pit around your Grandma and give her a high five every time you go around!” shouts vocalist Eddie Hermida at one point and it makes for a surreal and hilariously funny moment. Another thing the band promised was the ability to be able to pick a track and in the chat window we get the opportunity to do exactly that with “The Price Of Beauty” and “Love Me To Death” being put to the public vote mid-set to appear later on while the band smash through “Lifted” in style. 64% of votes go to the former and it’s executed to perfection. If you expected the bands self titled Ross Robinson produced album to disappear like it doesn’t exist, guess again. The set is closed with a storming rendition of arguably it’s heaviest track in “Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down“.

But wait, there’s more! During the online chat we’re encouraged to ask questions and the moderator, one of 13 team members including the band who are involved in bringing the Virtual World Tour to the stage each day, passes those to the band. So about 10 minutes after the show, the band sit around drinking Liquid Death water (from their sponsor) and answering our questions from the set, while we ask fresh ones that get picked later on. We get an apology for the glitching on tonight’s stream, which hasn’t happened previously and reminded that we can watch again for a limited period “as live” without those glitches in place about an hour after the show. The band genuinely answer our questions (this reviewer gets three of his answered!) which is a totally unique experience and as a band, they’re all incredibly humble and in good spirits. They choose Terminator over Robocop and guitarist Mark Heylmun says that he imagines seeing a couple of thousand people in the camera, which helps him get over the lack of an audience. Overall, this is an excellent, well put together package that takes streaming offerings to the next level and until we can get into a venue again, this is as good as it gets [9/10]

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