After an unmitigated triumph at Download a few weeks ago, it’ll come as no surprise that all those lucky enough to have snagged a ticket for tonight’s uber-tiny show from Suicide Silence will have been salivating over this for weeks and by god, it shows when The Borderline goes apeshit to opener Unanswered.
If you want to know how Suicide Silence have changed in the live environment since the passing of Mitch Lucker, it can’t help but be a bit weird when taking it in for the first few songs. Not seeing Mitch up there, his physical presence being one of the most imposing in contemporary metal and that iconic, praying mantis stage move not leaving you breathless, does take a little adjustment as a long-term fan. Thankfully, they have one of metal’s most criminally overlooked vocalists (until now at least) to take his place. Simply put, Eddie Hermida’s performance tonight is awe inspiring and though he lacks the physical presence of his predecessor, he has the ability to hold any crowd within his grasp as well as literally everything you could possibly want from a frontman. His range of piercing shrieks that sound like he spent his childhood gargling glass is offset by growls with so much low end they make the Cookie Monster sound like Minnie Mouse. One of the best ranges in metal? Affirmative. It’s not just his vocals though, his charisma is magnetic as he jokes with the crowd throughout, rips it out of a crowd member who’s a little bit to tough guy for his own good, getting the ladies in the room to “shake what your momma gave you” to Disengage and it takes a hell of a dude to be able to get a death metal crowd to sing along to Seal’s Kiss From A Rose. Listen, it felt right at the time, okay?
Then there are the songs. Suicide Silence have always pumped out quality records (their best is on the way in the shape of You Can’t Stop Me) but it’s only now, as they play over an hour of top quality metal without dipping for a single solitary second, that it truly shows. The “pull the trigger bitch” chant on No Pity for A Coward induces goosebumps, Wake Up swings with the destructive purpose of a wrecking ball and new track Cease To Exist is a blast of brutality that, oddly, has a euphoric wave of fun about it.
They’ve gone through the toughest circumstances that could ever be bestowed upon a band but tonight is a showcase of just how exciting the future is for Suicide Silence. This line up have only been playing shows as a unit since January and yet tonight ranks as one of the best shows of 2014. How good they’ll be once they are armed with their strongest cannon of songs unleashed on the public and after a few more months of touring is enough to make me horny just thinking about it. Suicide Silence are back in the biggest and baddest of ways. Get stoked.