Dubbing their fourth long-player "You Can't Stop Me" was a very appropriate move on behalf of California's Suicide Silence. See, in November of 2012, mainman/co-founder Mitch Lucker passed away following a horrid motorcycle accident. Therefore, it was only natural to assume that S.S.'s days were over, that the Riverside, California-based five-piece would merely dissolve and watch their legacy fade away into nothingness. But this band is better than that. So, they did what all great ones would do in their situation: Mourn the loss of Lucker, but then coalesce, and press forward by storming back onto the scene with a new frontman.
In the case of Suicide Silence, this new vocalist is named Herman "Eddie" Hermida, and he has all of the skills that Lucker had -- skills that are ample enough to make the group's new album another exceptional piece of deathgrind, and a welcome installment to their discography. Sure, his vocal stylings usually echo those of The Black Dahlia Murder, but they are still quite killer most of the time. Deftly switching back and forth between unnervingly high shrieks and viscerally low growls, Hermida can turn a mere one-line chorus into an empowering and unforgettable refrain. And furthermore, the dude's lyric-writing skills are also nothing to be sneezed at, either. It all makes for one very potent and memorable album, even if it cannot exactly be said to be a genre-redefining release.
"You Can't Stop Me" begins with "M.A.L.," a creepy little intro track that flows right into the all-out punishment of "Inherit The Crown," which is backed by machine gun-fast drum slamming, densely churning guitars, and positively rabid, high/low vocal patterns, and "Cease To Exist," a breakneck blitzkrieg with a frenetic, ripping guitar solo. The former of these two tracks is also highlighted by a particularly memorable part where the vocals descend to extra low, Cannibal Corpse/Deicide/Dying Fetus-worthy bellowing. Then, following the breakdown-happy "Sacred Words" (which has choruses that are very catchy and even anthemic, as simplistic as they might be), the record continues plowing straight ahead with the brutal "Control." This song, however, manages to standout from most of the rest, though, because it slips in some squealing, flailing pinch harmonics (which serve as honest-to-god guitar hooks) into its mix. A cameo from current Cannibal Corpse frontman George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher is also included, here, to boot.
And continuing this tradition of catchiness, "Warrior" is fueled by hooky, staccato picking and drumming, as well as some punishing, slamdanceable breakdowns. And it is all iced off by a bit of surprisingly technical bass soloing, too. The title song, then, might feature lyrics originally written by the late, great SS frontman (Lucker), but it is actually mostly of note on a musical front, as it overflows with chunky breakdowns and impeccable double-kick drumming. It also begins with an excellent drum intro before grooving into a steady, mosh-pit-ready chugging main riff.
Next up, "Monster Within," with its catchy, fiery, abrasive thrash riffing and punishing blast beats, might be a standout for possessing those things alone, but it is furthered by a guest appearance from The Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato, who really makes his presence felt by chipping in with his trademarked high-pitched screaming and shrieking. "We Have All Had Enough" opens with a bit of an anomaly, sprinkling in a brief but nice and colorful bit of acoustic guitars into its intro. And later on in the song comes a very decent and welcome melodic guitar solo. With that said, though, what is sandwiched between these two brief instances of guitar melodicism is more brutality, including pounding, serrated riffing, tight double-time drum thrashing, and thunderous rhythms.
Of the three tracks that remain, two of them are among the biggest highlights on the whole record. Don't get me wrong, "Don't Die," which falls into a grinding lurch (heavily reliant on the almighty chug), and fuses in some Cradle Of Filth-like, operatic-sounding backing vocals, is not half bad; but it is, ultimately, largely overshadowed by the two pieces that surround it. "End Is The Beginning" (which was re-recorded from Suicide Silence's 2006 demo) utilizes a strategically-placed fast tempo change to excellent effect, and is also home to some insane drumming and grindcore-worthy near-pig squeals; whereas "Ouroboros" adds another new tool to the Suicide Silence arsenal: Tender and touching acoustic balladry. Said song begins sounding like that, at least, but it is just a matter of time before brutality booms onto the scene with heavy, propulsive riffing, rapid-fire drum fills, and shrill, black metal-style vocal shrieks.
In summary, the level of musical growth present, here, is at the very least minimal. But hey, this is not entirely a bad thing, because no growth means there is no room for growing pains, am I right? A solid and mostly satisfying effort that should solidify this band's already very respectable fan base.