Review Summary: Don’t sleep on this.
Oftentimes it’s easy to throw an umbrella term over a metal act, cornering an album in a niche of sorts while throwing a cocktail of embellishment and magnification until the narrative fits. Given that Succession
would be She Said Destroy’s third effort after a hiatus, some could be forgiven for eschewing more specific terminology in the hopes of appealing to a wider audience. Putting these sweeping assumptions aside Succession
is varied, an abjure on primitive thinking that forces one album to sound like one thing—something to applaud considering their eight year gap between releases. It would have been too
easy for She Said Destroy to simply ease themselves back into the framework of extreme music, like using safer steps across a shallow creek. Instead Succession
doesn’t waste time tip-toeing around their compositions. No, this Norwegian act dive the fuc
k in, regardless of the depth.
But what does Succession
actually sound like? Well those broader, umbrella terms will have to do here, for She Said Destroy’s framework reaches most corners of the metal genre’s extremism. Sure, there’s a staple of black and death metal music running rampant throughout the album’s fifty-four minute run-time, but these staples intertwine and fold through elements of shoegaze, post rock, normal
rock and djent while leaning gently into glittering technical paradigms and progressive climes attuned to the meatheaded-ness of an occasional Meshuggah riff. A bit much? Well, when genres are tagged like this there is a feeling of oversaturation, flashiness or even fu
avoids all such association, avoiding the hyperbole that would come with it. To summarise: Succession
shouldn’t be slept on.
Big riffs punch through “To Ourselves The World Entire’s” catapulting tempo. A vocal tote defines the mood that would encapsulate the album to come and yet it feels slightly underhanded to describe all of Succession
’s minutes in such a short, written format—mostly because tracks like “Our Will Be Done” and “Greed Witches” provide ample blast beats and frills; heaviness that acts as a dichotomy to the punk-ish, grinding furor of “You Will End”. From here the atmosphere shifts into a more majestic, larger than life soundscape. Not only does “Sharpening The Blade” take a root to a foundation of blackened metal, but the track itself is a tremolo expansion on how She Said Destroy can shift into another gear, adding expansive climes and ultimately post-black metal sound pillars. Here it’s important to note the injection of melody; the yin to the yang of brutality. Whirring notes soar above blasting percussion and screams, carrying both the track individually while bridging the record’s latter half.
Even as the listener becomes fully entrenched in the Succession
landscape there is room to breathe. The slower march of “All The King's Horses” gateways a primal and fiercer sound, taking on a doomier soundscape than which the album has offered thus far. “Collapse” continues in feel
, but provides more melody paired with its lurching riffs. While it’s clear that She Said Destroy’s musical framework is never idle, examples continue to fly out of Succession
’s fifty-four minute run time. “Ruin” offers southern rock grooves hidden under Pantera-like guitar crunch. I mention that as a reference, not to scare a potential listener away because the track itself is a head-banging good time—Scott Ian-like stomp riffs aplenty.
That said, I do wish She Said Destroy would pick where and when to flip their sounds on its head, mostly because the record’s closing and title track revisits the twinkly doom-gaze aesthetic entrenched in their more blackened soundscapes. Individually, “Ruin” and “Succession” are great tracks, but together they are less the one-two punch that would close this particular chapter in spectacular style. Instead, listeners are treated to a myriad of influences slammed into each other and less cohesive than its potential had otherwise inclined. Understandably this is a minor gripe, we could probably brush this away as the dust that’s accumulated over the course of the group’s eight year hiatus and given just how diverse the music is, the genre-hopping Succession
is a worthy mention in regards to this year’s better extreme music.