Review: Susperia

(Nuclear Blast)

Susperia is an odd band to hear, they are almost black metal, but not at all.  Formed by Tjodalv (ex-Dimmu Borgir) and members of several other almost-black metal bands like Old Man’s Child, Predominance displays a post-black metal sound.  Rather impressive drumming helps this act massively, but considering them in terms of black metal will do them little justice.  Highly melodic, and more mid-paced than much of the black metal scene tends to be, counting Susperia among the likes of Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir is far more telling of their sound.  Though it must be said that Predominance displays much of its own unique sound, which isn’’t bad for modern metal.  Much in same way that most of black (read satanic) metal, especially COF, goes a little overboard with the whole evil thing, Susperia tends to trap its focus along those lines.  Titles like “Illusions of Evil” and “Blood on my Hands” will give you some idea of what they are writing about.  But as so many metal fans profess, it’s not the lyrics that are important; it’s the music.  As metal goes redominance is pretty good, a little on the pop side of things; sounding like they intend to make a few more dollars then credibility points, but oh well, they still are catchy.  From time to time you will get let down sonically, too often the guitar solos sound like power metal, snore.  Vocalist Athera has a very decent black metal growl, but his use of clean singing is…well annoying.  Oddly enough, the drumming is almost too technical for the rest of the band.  When the double bass gets going full speed, the rest of the band starts to sound slightly pale.  Over all it’s your call, if you’re a die-hard Cradle or Dimmu fan, this will definitely please.  If you can handle a compromise “true” black metal ethics, then stay away, but for most there will be bits and pieces that will please.