Having gone through the most traumatic circumstances that can befall any band, through the tragic passing of Mitch Lucker, for the past 18 months Suicide Silence’s future could have been described as cloudy at best. Before his passing, the band looked set to be the jewel in Nuclear Blast’s new Monte Connor-powered future and push on from their outstanding 2011 masterpiece, The Black Crown. A band losing their singer for whatever reason is the hardest thing for a band to overcome and when that singer was as talented and borderline iconic as Mitch Lucker, you would be forgiven for wondering whether the Californians would ever realise the colossal potential they possessed. It takes less than 10 seconds of opening track Inherit The Crown for you to feel like a total ass-hat for ever raising such questions. Suicide Silence are back in the most emphatic and ferocious of ways and not only are they back, they have released one of the best albums of 2014.
For starters, Eddie Hermida’s vocals are out of this world. Sharing Mitch’s ability to unleash bowel-fucking growls and goosebump-inducing high-pitched screams, Eddie manages to stamp his character on the band like a scolding branding iron on open flesh. Always having clarity on his annunciation, the chorus hook on Sacred Words is one of the finest in the band’s canon and the opening cry of ‘I’ll wear the mask if I have to, I will inherit the crown’ on Inherit The Crown is not only prophetic but destined to become a bona fide pit anthem for this generation.
Musically, this is a natural progression from The Black Crown. The thrash and groove approach recalls latter-day Pantera injected with the ferocity of the likes of Baphomet and Ingested and their ability to switch tempos and turn the direction of their attack on a dime is one of the most outstanding things in metal today. Cease To Exist flits between frantic adrenaline-charged blasting to a solid sledgehammer-groove force, the chugfest on Warrior and Don’t Die are heavy enough for you to feel rattling in your ribcage and Monster Within – featuring a typically sanguinary cameo from Greg Puciato – is all venomous riffing and pulsating rhythms. Beatdowns here are executed with surgical precision and, though there’s little in the way of solos, the onslaught of riffs on show is jaw-dropping. When it’s twinned with the kind of double-kick drum explosions that make you feel like you’re being pumped full of lead from an AK-47, it shows Suicide Silence are on the most devastating form of their career.
Not only is it a beautiful thing that Suicide Silence have continued as a band, that You Can’t Stop Me is as good as it is marks one of the greatest comeback stories you’ll find in metal. A band that were on the verge of something special have not only delivered it, they’ve done so in the most adverse of conditions. This is an essential listen for any self-respecting metalhead.