From the forceful tirade of rampaging instrumental intro “The Initiate”, you know you’re in for something special with the self-titled debut release from the San Francisco death/doom/grind outfit formerly known as Cloak, Succumb. There’s death metal and then there’s fucking “death metal”, the stuff that wells up in the back of your skull and sticks with you like water on the brain long after you’ve turned off the stereo. Succumb’s depressive hybrid attack, combining a forlorn blackening over 90’s style grind with a touch of Entombed-esque “death & roll”, whiplash inducing as it is when propelled by the supernatural drumming of Bosse-de-Nage / Slough Feg skinsman Harry Cantwell, would be mesmerizing enough on its own, but Succumb’s secret weapon is vocalist Cheri Musrasrik.
Is it a moan? A howl? A bray? No matter what you need to call it, Musrasrik’s possessed shriek fits the wretched and despairing tone of Succumb’s musical attack like a blood soaked black leather glove, mastering all it surveys over the galloping intro of “Coal Dark Earth”, the relentless blastbeats and vertigo riffing on “Bedchambers” or the swaggering, headbanging march into “Survival”. The brevity of “Succumb” the record might be my only complaint about it, but these 7 tracks are more than enough to put Succumb the band on the map. This is literally and figuratively one of the most unique “voices” I’ve heard in metal in quite some time. More of this, please.