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Definitely different dark metal here! - 67%

Lane, November 27th, 2011

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 in 2010)

Perpetuum - Gradual decay of conscience - 55%

Phuling, February 4th, 2011

I really want to like this album, simply for the fact that the band demonstrates a complete lack of fear for sprucing this up. Signs or progression and alternative thinking are not to be shunned, but after listening through the album time after time now I just can’t get on board the money train. This is Perpetuum’s debut album, and it’s well over a year old now. Hopefully their forthcoming output will have dealt with the inherent problems of Gradual decay of conscience.

One of my main concerns is the shoddy production, which sounds as to have been an attempt at creating a pretty massive wall of sound, but winds up as thin and fragile. The very audible bass is killer, but still with a somewhat annoying sound, and the so-so vocals aren’t at all helped by a weird mixing, leaving it lying flat on top of gnarly and intrusive guitars. The growling is passable, but the higher-pitched screams feel very forced, and doesn’t sound natural at all. But, on to one of their strong points, which is the drumming. Technicality and old school beats are mixed with tons of ultra-blasting sections, unorthodox breaks and a very flowing progression throughout the different styles performed. It’s momentarily met by equally as wicked guitar leads, like for instance two minutes into Unmerciful despair, but unfortunately the bulk of the riffing is quite dull and boring. The jazzy break in Into the deepest darkness definitely adds an incredibly cool touch, but not enough to make one overlook the fact that the rest of the track’s quite bland.

They take in influences from almost every metal genre known to man, and whereas the core of their tunes might be a blackened death metal variant they’re certainly not afraid of adding some thrashy tempos, a touch of classic heavy metal or even a bit of mathlike hardcore. Tempo-wise they go back and forth from raging speed to slow churning, but the latter ones are rarely all-that interesting, and it’s only the great drum-work in Scourging the foe that makes the track any kind of worthwhile. I praise Perpetuum for daring to dabble in somewhat untraveled territory, but to make a truly powerful impact they definitely need to improve some aspects of their sound.

Originally written for