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Susperia - Predominance (CD)

by Orpheus Spiliotopoulos at 01 February 2001, 1:57 AM

The Norwegian Black Metal scene just seems to keep pumping and pumping out endlessly, blood thirsty bands. Not all of the bands manage to establish a sound that can simultaneously be 'black metal' and nice to listen to (well that doesn''t happen all the time). It's nice to find out that at least there are some musicians from the cold and frosty country of Norway that have more than a simple ambition to play just for the fun of it.
One cold October morning of 1998 (or afternoon…heck! I have no idea!) x-member of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man's Child, Tjoldav, started putting together one great ambition of his! Together with guitar player Cyrus (Session: Satyricon, Old Man's Child), who already was an old pal of Tjodalv, they started writing lyrics and composing the music of what was going to be the 'blood' of Susperia today. As time passed by, one day during the Wacken Open Air Festival in 1999, they met the person who now is the group's vocalist, Athera (he was helping out Mayhem with their show). After listening to some pre-production stuff Tjoldav had given him, Athera found it more than interesting to join him and Cyrus. So he joined them and also added two necessary members to the band, bass player Memnock and the second guitarist, Elvorn. Both were good friends of Athera so trust was built almost immediately among all of them.
In December 1999 they recorded a demo (Illusions of Evil) at Pitfire Studio near Oslo. The demo contained five songs plus synth and piano on this recording was done by Mustis (Dimmu Borgir). The Demo had a tremendous appeal at the record companies and soon they were receiving a lot of offers from major Record Labels! So, Susperia decided to sign a four record deal with Nuclear Blast and they started recording in Abyss Studios A & C in October 2000.
Finally, the long awaited album is now ready and soon it will be nesting up in your tinny little ears!
Predominance is a really skillful album that takes you on a journey through the members' darkest thoughts and philosophies. The guitars are more than awesome and I wouldn't say that Cyrus and Elvorn play the typical Norwegian garbage-eating-machine kind of sound. I find their riffs in Predominance quite interesting. Not that Black Metal lacks of guitar riffs (I don't want to be mistaken or anything). There are more than a few good bands actually. It's just that there are more bands playing crappy black metal than bands that play something worth noticing. The drums really kick ass (well I guess that if you''re an x-member of Dimmu Borgir…none has to say anything more about it!) and they adapt very efficiently to any speed required by the songs!
No need to mention ofcourse that the bass is also pretty good! Some songs are a great combination of different things (ex. Specimen) like clean vocals, brutal vocals (but of course! hehe), heavy guitars and exploding drums! Nothing seems to be left stationary in any of the songs! This fact is more than fascinating if you come to think that most of the times when you listen to something new you go like oh my God…it gets so boring, all tracks seem so alike and the rhythm, damn, it never changes! Well, my fellow readers, this time you'll wish the tracks never ended! Throughout all the songs, Athera's voice is full of rage and psycho tensions (like weird) and I'm sure there's a more deeper meaning hidden under the titles than a plain anger or skepticism.
Closing this review I'd like to mention that in music we ought to acknowledge the effort that a lot of bands put in making their ambitions come true (and the fact that a lot of bands don't even try). These bands should be rewarded with respect. Predominance is an album that deserves more than just listening to it. It's something that'll make you think. Think about what? Well, go get this album (out soon!) and stop expecting me to answer all of your questions!…

4 Star Rating

I Am Pain
Illusions Of Evil
Journey Into Black
Of Hate We Breed
Objects Of Desire
The Hellchild
Blood On My Hands
The Coming Of A Darker Time
Tjodalv - Drums
Cyrus - Guitar
Memnock - Bass
Athera - Vocals
Elvorn - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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