She Said Destroy - Times Like Vines - 2006 - Candlelight Records
1. Armageddon, Anyone? 2. Time Like Vines 3. Der Untergeher 4. I Sense A Tempest Arising 5. Beyond The Borders Of Our Minds 6. Joy To The World: The Coming Of Kali 7. Shapeshifter 8. Swallow My Tongue 9. Becoming The Morningstar 10. Morituri Te Salutant
This last year has seen Candlelight Records reborn. At one time, the label was one for European-styled death/black outfits (Grimfist, Khold) and slumbering giants (Emperor). This year, though, they are sporting new websites, accessible media, and a host of new signings demonstrating an expanded genre foundation ranging from experimental to metalcore to rock.
Perhaps the best embodiment of Candlelight’s Renaissance is the new group She Said Destroy. Their painfully trendy name and art themes combine with surprisingly honest death metal roots to demonstrate the label’s attempt to appeal to a newer audience while still keeping a hold of the old. Some songs channel the modernity of Dillinger Escape Plan, others the indulgent gore/death of California. Yet, each style is tempered the brooding nature of the Norwegian spirit, and She Said Destroy’s emulation never crosses over to mimicry.
She Said Destroy claim to draw influence from ‘noise rock, thrash, death metal and black metal alike’, and while each of these influences is clear at one point or another, their sound is more reserved than their promotional material suggests. The majority of ‘Times Like Vines’ is riff-centric, chugging death metal that will immediately strike a chord with fans of Meshuggah and other such lurching, technical outfits. They do not seem to be terribly familiar with the upper half of the fretboard, as most of their riffs tend towards down-tuned staccato repetition. Higher notes appear mostly in a dissonant role, rarely as a lead or particularly obvious melody. Too, the lead vocals, while strong, rarely alter in cadence or pitch.
That being said, She Said Destroy are more dynamic than most who play the Meshuggah card. Their variety exists in the dual vocal approach, the second voice being much higher, and the occasional use of distinct guitar melody. These passages best highlight She Said Destroy’s potential as a death metal band with brains and perspective. The title track, for example, after sticking to familiar territory (i.e. repetitive, abnormal time signatures, slow chugs) develops a melodic counterpoint that remains within the established simple chord patterns but strips away the song’s anger, ending it in a morose dichotomy between the thick low notes of the beginning and the ethereal, fading strains at the end.
Unfortunately, although none of the album’s songs pass six minutes and the entire duration is just over 45 minutes, ‘Times Like Vines’ lacks consistent dexterity. No song is a standout downer, but enough display tendencies of relatively inexperienced song writing to detract from the album’s overall impact. As noted above, there are flashes of inspiration, but often the album stays in the shallow waters, hinting at greater depths and then not always following through.
‘Times Like Vines’ is still a quality debut and has certainly made a good impression, gaining the accolades of critics and fans alike. Backed by the newly revitalized Candlelight, She Said Destroy is a band to watch—if they pursue their emotive side, their future works could break the boundaries of classification.
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