She Said Destroy - Succession
Progressive Death Metal
11 songs (53:40)
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Goat

A long nine years after their previous outing, the still excellent 27-minute song Bleeding Fiction, Norway's She Said Destroy have returned with only their third full-length. Three albums in two decades is hardly pumping out material, and after impressing so much with their first two albums, can the band do it again? Well, yes and no. There's a slight lessening of She Said Destroy's technical death side towards a groovy/atmospheric mix, a little more influence being taken from the punk and post-metal side of things and although the results are never actually disappointing, it does take a little adjustment to the fact that the band have moved sideways. Succession is a fascinating album with clear and obvious strengths but it doesn't always work as well as its predecessors from the band, which flowed much more smoothly and felt like whole albums as opposed to collections of near-unrelated songs. Here, the mix of styles and genres doesn't work, and even serves to drag down otherwise interesting moments from individual songs. And as a result, the album doesn't feel cohesive, let alone rival the best moments from previous albums.

Groovy opener To Ourselves the World Entire is one of the better pieces, proggy death metal of the type they've played so far that soon expands into more melodic and almost upbeat post-rock. Yet following this with the eerie post-metal of Eyes Go Pale is a misstep as the latter track feels like an echo and is a little too long and repetitive, sapping the energy from the opening of the album (if not being the actual worst track present!). It's easy to think that it should have been cut out from the already lengthy record, particularly when the better, sludgier grooves of Our Will Be Done begin to ring out.

And this happens many times. The blunt aggression of You Will End, hardcore without detracting from the metallic heaviness, leads into the slower death/grind pound of Greed Witches well, but to then launch into the melodic post-black of Sharpening the Blade seems odd. Not Only Bridges' speedy death vs the almost djent-y groove of Ruin? And as good as She Said Destroy are when they dip their toes finally into blackened sounds, it's still a tonal shift that can't help but feel a little odd. Particularly since the following All The King's Horses turns back towards sludginess, suggesting not so much a cohesive album as the band should have released a pair of EPs...

Then again, the shifts do make for an interesting listen, and it's that which will ultimately decide opinion on Succession - whether said shifts are inspired or insipid, whether the mix of genres works or not. By the time you've reached the closing title track, a blackened intense workout, you'll either be in love or utterly left cold. Those new to the band would be well advised to check earlier releases out, and those familiar will be pleased enough with their return to be forgiving to flawed but worthy albums like this. Let's hope they don't take another nine years to release anything, however, and let's hope when they do Succession is easily, er, succeeded.

Killing Songs :
To Ourselves the World Entire, Greed Witches, All The King's Horses, Not Only Bridges
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by She Said Destroy that we have reviewed:
She Said Destroy - Bleeding Fiction (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
She Said Destroy - This City Speaks In Tongues reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
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