Is it just me, or has Australia really been hogging the limelight in the deathcore world these days? Looking back on 2012 thus far, especially the most recent months, many of the most notable artists and albums have emerged from Down Under–and looking forward, that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down. However, tucked in between all the heaviness blossoming from The Outback are Kansas-based symphonic shredders Perdition, and their debut EP, This Wretched World, bringing their own, distinctly American style of crushing brutality and symphonic harmony to the world-wide masses.
This Wretched World starts subtly enough–faintly, sounds of militaristic destruction fade into audibility, accented with sci-fi nuances and just enough bass to hint at the oncoming storm. Suddenly, with little–if any–warning, an arsenal of pounding drums fires an opening salvo onto the listener, as Perdition unleash the ravaging beast locked within their EP. A grinding, thrashy introduction, accented with peripheral sludge and heaviness weaves fluidly into the first full track, “The House on Northlane,” which really, honestly displays all that this young Deathcore band has to offer.
Instrumentally, Perdition are kings of the hill when it comes to mixing progressive, symphonic death metal with crushing, thrashing metalcore. The heavy, pounding drums accompany vicious, muddy bass are often times accompanied by at least one (if not two) chuggy, down-tuned and immense guitar, which creates a strong, low atmosphere. The subterranean feel used as a baseline in This Wretched World is often stylistically contrasted with sweeping, high guitar lines and bipolar bellowed-then-screeched vocals, allowing for a truly dialectic combination of elements. “This Wretched World,” the EP’s title track, showcases this best, with a dual-vocal assault which ranges from guttural lows and bellowed inwards to screeching, ear-cracking high screams. These vocals dance across a sturdy, churning sea of instrumentation which peaks with sweeping, shredding guitar lines and crashed with bone-busting breakdowns. While all of these elements function in unison to make the release strong, This Wretched World truly garners it’s symphonic strength from the tasteful addition of keys and synth which persist throughout each track.
Perdition are a symphonic band, and the implementation of keys and piano throughout This Wretched World are clear evidence. While the degree of their inclusion ranges from sparse sprinkles and dabs to a full-blown, sweeping orchestral onslaught, their constant inclusion adds an extra dimension to the release, solidifying it’s position above it’s contemporaries. “The House on Northlane” features what is likely the most ranged inclusion of the “symphonic element,” using it as an enhancer during technical, blast-beat ridden segments, and as a stand-alone catalyst, building a mezzanine of sound before leading into a devastating breakdown which smashes it to the ground. This tactic–while employed frequently elsewhere–is done exceptionally well, but often included to the point of predictability. While this compromises the efficacy of the maneuver, it is done in such a harmonized and idyllic fashion that the listener can hardly even be bothered with it, because, in some cases, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
So if you were intrigued by Make them Suffer’s Neverbloom, or banged your head to Signal the Firing Squad’s Abnegate, do yourself a favor and give Perdition’s latest EP a spin. Combining infamous Australian technicality, symphony and heaviness with American thrash and groove, This Wretched World is a marvelous and unique release which shows nothing but uncompromising brutality, progression and potential.