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Chile's Perpetuum present their debut album. They actually aren't newcomers, since they went on with the name Nocturnal Blasphemy from 2003 to 2006. From the beginning, the band's goal was raw and dirty black metal. During the years, their sound began to mutate because of varying influences from all the members. So, 'Gradual Decay of Conscience' was born.
I have to congratulate Perpetuum for finding their own sound, because they surely have managed to do it. The music sounds chaotic, and it needs to be listened to attentively. Perpetuum's sound is a mixture of black and death metal, plus distant echoes of alternative rock. The main tool that is used to create chaotic feel is disharmonious guitar work (which I find is hard for me to get into), somewhat reminiscent of Immolation with more black metal style open string notes, simultaneously or not. There's also more straight riffage, as well as early 90s English doom metal touches at some of the songs. The second method to create chaotic aura is untypical arranging of the music, which can be called flowing yet tech-inspired, often multi-layered. They are also well varying when compared to each other. The problem with the music is that, first, it is hard to follow to, and secondly, it is hardly easily memorable, if at all sometimes.
The bands' performance is great to listen to. Millions of details and adventurous playing, especially from the rhythm section, make this even more like "a trip". The production is very organic, bringing forth the details.
There are two kinds of vocal styles used; low death metal grunt and black metal-ish higher voice. The lyrical concept in human behaviour, which is basically destructive due to societies and countries. Money is more important than love, or other human beings (or beings in general), or our home planet. Sometimes the lyrics are metaphoras, sometimes not. 'Monoliths' and 'Grunts of the Shoggoths' are pure Lovecraft horror.
'Gradual Decay of Conscience' is hard to get into, at least for me it was. Many, many listening sessions ended up more or less abruptly. That's why I underline the attentively listening; the music here simply demand that. If you don't pay attention, it will swiftly collapse into separated atoms. An interesting album from a characteristic band, which sadly is a bit too cryptic.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2010)