Susperia - Predominance review
|Release date:||March 2001|
01. I Am Pain
03. Illusions Of Evil
05. Journey Into Black
06. Of Hate We Breed
07. Object Of Desire
08. The Hellchild
09. Blood On My Hands
10. The Coming Of A Darker Time
Susperia were formed from a bunch of seasoned musicians in the Norwegian extreme metal scene, you could say somewhat of a Supergroup. In Predominance, their debut, they envisaged creating a far more minimalistic album than some of the members' previously epic outings in former bands Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child and Satyricon. There is a Thrash Metal feel about this album yet they keep the core extremity of their Black Metal roots always just around the corner. They switch between these styles with effortless ease and create a sound quite unique to themselves calling on keyboards only in the very rare occasions when the song demands it.
There is plenty of anguish, fatalism and existential dread pervading the lyrics of this album. They question the human condition of being trapped in time and space and having to deal with religion, reality and existence in general. This is a subject they tackle in depth and especially on the track "Specimen". Some of the words are pure poetry such as on "Journey Into Black" where they deal with the possibilities held within death and the afterlife. Its really very intense stuff! They also touch briefly in a number of tracks on the themes and their roots in the very elitist Black Metal scene. They seem to be indicating an internal struggle between these two very different philosophies.
If the ideology is a struggle then the music is equally so. There are so many influences moulded together in this music however, it is glued together with sublime foresight just like the words. It comes across in every way as a very mature, well thought out collaboration of people with shared vision. The music and lyrics are completely inseparable. Whilst the actual technicalities of the individual pieces of music is nothing special, each song as a whole is brilliantly composed to create maximum adrenaline simply because each piece is perfectly structured on the previous piece to create an enthralling whole and in this, it is highly effective.
Tjodalv shows yet again that he remains one the best drummers in metal and is allowed to show a far greater range of techniques in Susperia than he ever was during his time with Dimmu Borgir. It may be slightly less technical but is equally as absorbing.
This music is not for Black Metal elitists or someone looking for another grandiose Symphonic masterpiece. It will however, appeal to a broad range of metal fans without genre prejudice. It is a solid effort with a lot of depth and should be approached without preconceptions.
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