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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.

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