Lana Blac opens up her arms in the brand new single “Suck You In” and welcomes us into a sensuous side of alternative metal that relies more on suffocating grooves and haunting melodies than it does belligerent beats and unintelligible vocals. In her album Nocturnal, Blac deliberately goes against the grain of modern pop music and combines her wide ranging influences from the metal underground to create a sound that is truly her own, and “Suck You In” might be the record’s most elaborately designed track. Sparks literally come flying off of the intoxicating harmony between the strings and her vocals, and though devoid of flashy commercial lacquer this single gives us a decent sense of the depth that Blac has as a composer.
The riffs are galloping and directive from the jump and repeatedly challenge the drums for control over the song’s rhythm. With each palm muted stroke of percussion the drums recoil as if to absorb the damage of the groove, only to return with an even harsher bash in the next verse. They go back and forth for the duration of the track and the exchange never gets old – only more and more penetrating with each string of words uttered in Blac’s smoky vocal.
I’ve always said that a good metal song is compelling because of its brash bassline, and “Suck You In” boasts one of the most petulant bottom ends I’ve heard in a while. Peevishly situated between the drums and the guitar, the bass tries it’s hardest to break through the invisible wall separating its rumble from the white treble coming off of the percussive parts and actually comes fairly close as we near the end of the song. It’s accentuated in the master mix by the lowballing of the sharper cymbal crashes, but it never protrudes into Blac’s vocal, which is the undisputed star of this metal spectacle.
Lyrically Blac takes the opposite road of her campier counterparts, who usually prefer to wreck songs as fascinatingly alluring as “Suck You In” with folklore-riddled nonsense that wouldn’t even be relevant on a proto metal disc. She’s focused and to the point, clearly describing to us what’s going on in her malevolent mind as she sizes up her prey. There’s a bit of wit in her use of angel/demon symbolism, but this isn’t “Hole in the Sky” (in a good way). Her prose is gentle in comparison to all of the mayhem that the backing band is pumping out, but her delivery is as cutting as a sword through silk.
You don’t have to be the biggest metal fan in the world to be able to appreciate the ingeniousness of “Suck You In” as it relates to modern heavy music. Everything that we’re expecting this song to evolve into never comes to fruition; Blac’s attack isn’t nostalgic nor particularly revolutionary, but it feels so much different than what major label metal has sounded like in recent years. It could be the rigidity of the mix, or possibly the imaginative and conceptual nihilism hidden in the song’s narrative, but whatever the case may be “Suck You In” is a single that hard rock enthusiasts would be wise to closely examine.
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