Deathcore heavyweights Suicide Silence have risen up from the ashes of their former selves through their fourth album You Can’t Stop Me. Following the death of former lead vocalist Mitch Lucker in October of 2012, Suicide Silence had completely gone black for several months. The band came back together once more to play the “Ending is the Beginning: The Mitch Lucker Memorial Show” along with many of the deceased’s close friends and admirers. Amongst the many who performed with the band was Hernan “Eddie” Hermida, who at the time was the lead vocalist of All Shall Perish. Hermida performed “Slaves to Substance” with Suicide Silence and after recording the track, the band came to the realization that he was the perfect fit to take over for Mitch Lucker as the lead vocalist. Through a collection of lyrics written by Lucker before his untimely demise and some guest vocals from George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse) and Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) You Can’t Stop Me was born.
The introductory track of “M.A.L” starts off the album with an ominous sound that later picks up, setting up the scene for “Inherit the Crown”. This second track serves as a dedication to Mitch Lucker. In a manner of speaking it also serves as a passing of the baton to Hermida as can be seen in the lyrics: “I’ll wear the mask if I have to/I will inherit the crown.” The lyrics reference the band’s previous album Black Crown as Hermida states that he will wear the crown if he has to, thereby taking over for Lucker.
As for the song vocally, Hermida takes on the song in a fast-paced, almost rapping/screaming combination that reminds me a bit of Attila. The song’s instrumentation makes for perfect headbanging and meshes well with the vocals. While both the instrumentals and vocals start to get a little monotonous, there are moments where both pick up. The track ends on a very high note, with a superbly clean outro that sets up a great transition for the next track.
The record continues to move forward with “Cease to Exist”. It is entirely evident that this song is rooted from anger; the lyrics alone could prove that there were no warm, cuddly feelings when it was created: “I would drag myself through a mile of broken glass/Just to watch you cease to exist/ Lights out/ Go to sleep/ I hope you never wake up.” However, the instrumentals are there to add intensity to the already jam-packed song. Amongst these instrumentals is the first of guitarist Mark Heylmun’s solos that are out of this world to say the least.
“Sacred Words” is the most unique track off the record as it does not follow the guidelines for your average deathcore track, but sounds more like a melodic metalcore song. This sound is most noted by the guitar, however the screams are also more high-pitched than one would expect in a deathcore song. The track starts off with a guitar part tied in with drums that could make anyone start headbanging. At the same time I can see this part being played at a show with the band requesting for everyone to clap their hands to the beat. The song is certainly catchy and switches things up quite a bit. At one point in the track, the unclean vocals transition to a growled whisper that transitions back into unclean vocals.
The album’s titular track “You Can’t Stop Me” was the last song that Lucker had written the lyrics for. It encapsulates every excellent part of the record quite beautifully, so it’s certainly fitting as the titular track. It begins with fast-paced kick drums and the instrumentation is absolutely perfect for headbanging. The lyrics focus on the fact that telling a person they can’t do something will simply make them want to do it more: “If you’re reckless, and free/Speak up, sing this with me/ We’re free, we’re free/ You can’t f*cking stop me.” The song ends beautifully as everything slows down to the point that you barely even notice that it has finished.
You Can’t Stop Me also has its moments where it falls short. A few of the album’s songs simply do not do anything for me. For example, “We Have All Had Enough” and “Control” could have easily not been on the record and I wouldn’t have minded. They’re not necessarily bad songs, but they’re both quite repetitive and get kinda boring halfway through. The song “Don’t Die” also isn’t entirely up to par. I’ll give it this, the lyrics are absolutely beautiful and uplifting. What bothers me about the track is that the instrumentals don’t match up with the lyrics’ beauty at all. I’m not asking for clean vocals as that would be entirely out of character for SS, but slightly less hardcore screams and slowed down instrumentation would have tied the song together perfectly.
The album’s closer “Ouroboros” is the perfect way to end it all. In a way it serves as the record’s ballad, beginning with spoken verses that are later heard again in the song. It is a very ominous song and a whistling wind can be heard in the background throughout its entirety. The track ends the way it started, with spoken vocals. It eventually decrescendos as a piano can be heard.
It also does a great job of playing on the song title. The word”ouroboros” is the name for a Greek symbol in which a snake is eating its own tail. This focuses in on the ending of one thing, being the beginning of another. This appears to be the central theme of the record.
Suicide Silence does an excellent job of honoring their former vocalist Mitch Lucker while paving the way for new vocalist Eddie Hermida. All in all, You Can’t Stop Me is a very successful record that will be enjoyed by headbangers everywhere.