She Said Destroy, "Time Like Vines"
Man, I really wanted to hate this album. I was getting all warmed up for an acidic, highly ironic and gleefully sarcastic full on trashing of yet another metalcore band trying to claw out of the seething birth pits. Even the band name was pissing me off... "She Said Destroy"... destroy what? And that bland album cover wasn't helping either.
Weird noisy beginning, what the hell... hating it... and then... okay, cool drum rolls, good crisp production; cool riff and vocals and the next part starts, another cool riff that somehow makes me think Morbid Angel, then another part with yet another catchy guitar part and the hatesicle is rapidly melting. And no breakdowns yet! Vocals are death but with black screams too; damn that drummer is good. Why the hell was I thinking this was metalcore? That was "Armageddon, Anyone?", and I'm almost sold. Song two is the title track, which is much more progressive metal in nature, with some excellent bass work and slimy vocals. As it unfolds, I'm bopping around and then they slow the tempo down and pound out some whacked out repetitive sludge to the end, and I'm won over. Cool band, and great debut album. "Der Untergeher" has enough "Arrrrgghhs!" in it to satisfy any pirate captain, with more ass kicking drum work. "I Sense A Tempest Rising" starts off with a melodic bass (I think) intro over some very odd noises and jazzy guitars until the vocals launch the whole thing into hyper kinetic riff land. Death's "Human" comes to mind. Stop watch precision from these Norwegians, and things only get better from here. "Beyond the Borders of Our Minds" starts off slow but quickly remedies that and speeds off down the track, vocals gloriously over the top. "Joy to the World: The Coming of Kali" hits my sweet spot at 42 seconds into the song... I love groove like that. Very interesting melding of styles here... like death, black, thrash warmed up in a stainless steel pan of prog metal. It's busy, busy music, willing to throw a whole bunch of stuff in the air and blast it with shotguns. There's not much in the way of guitar solos, which I find weird in spots that seem to call for it, like the beginning of "Shapeshifter". If I had to field a complaint, I'd say that some of the songs tend to go on a bit, but even then there's usually something else around the bend just when I think it's starting to drag. "Shapeshifter" does get a little quiet and melodic at the end, and that yowling vocal is suitably creepy over the mellow part. "Swallow My Tongue" follows the pattern established so far, a melodic drone that builds with busy drums, cascading riffs and more intense vocals, breaking down in the middle into spoken word, and then thrashing insistently to the end. "Becoming the Morningstar" is more death tech, with "Where the Slime Live" vocals in places; I'd love to see this band in concert pulling off this stuff. According to the bio info, they've been around since 2000, so I suppose it's no wonder these songs sound so tight. "Morituri Te Salutant" sports acoustic guitars throughout and serves as a mellow outro for the album.
So, a big fist in the air for "Time Like Vines", which is a damn fine album from these guys from Oslo. Anders, Snorre, Eystein, Torris... great job, way to go, cheers, and the beers are on me when you come to town.