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When it comes to extreme metal bands, there is a generalization about Scandinavia that goes as follows: Sweden is death metal territory, while Norway is black metal territory. But that claim is problematic because: (1) Norway has given listeners numerous death metal bands, and (2) Sweden gave listeners Dark Funeral, Marduk, and many other well-known black metal units. Furthermore, there are countless Nordic bands that offer a death metal/black metal combination -- some from Sweden, some from Norway (that's on top of all the Finnish moshers). She Said Destroy, one of the Scandinavian bands that fuses the two, just happen to be from Norway. If a headbanger asks whether Time Like Vines should be categorized as death metal or black metal, the correct answer is "both." Some of the lead vocals favor a demonic-sounding, larynx-shredding growl (a death metal ingredient), while others favor a demonic-sounding, larynx-shredding rasp (a black metal ingredient). The growling vocals exceed the rasp vocals, but there are certainly enough rasp vocals (as well as blastbeats and ominous black metal-style harmonies) to make this 45-minute CD relevant to black metal. Nor is death metal-style guitar riffing hard to find here. So all things considered, it is accurate to say that Time Like Vines is both a death metal album and a black metal album -- and it is also an album that is ferocious and blistering at different tempos. There are slow tempos, medium tempos, and lightning-fast tempos; She Said Destroy enjoy changing tempos as much as they enjoy being intense and brutal. Time Like Vines offers some melodic passages on occasion, but more often than not, this release is an exercise in brute force. While Time Like Vines falls short of remarkable, it's a decent demonstration of how death metal and black metal can be united with vicious results. ~ Alex Henderson
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