One of the things that surprised me when I started digging into death metal is the diversity of the genre. To someone who had only heard the one-dimensional (though super rad) assault of bands like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, it seemed counter-intuitive that musicians exploring jazz or folk or gentle soundscapes would choose to align themselves with the genre most likely to scream in your face while describing how it was going to hack you open with a bonesaw. Now it seems clearer to me why that should be the case. And by that, I mean I have formed my own crackpot theory on the matter. Death metal is about extremity. It’s about making nasty noises and telling nasty stories, either of which could make people’s ears bleed on their own. But within that extremity, there is a freedom.
When your music makes the masses turn their backs, you no longer have to worry about them. Instead you can concern yourself with creating exactly the sound you want to hear, and putting it out there for the people who want to hear it too. Death metal carries the message that you are doing whatever it is you’re doing for its own sake. And so of course it has attracted bright musical minds who didn’t want to be reigned in by the confines of other genres. If you want to make music free of those shackles, death metal is a fine place to start. This explanation is always somewhere in the back of my mind whenever I hear a band who are taking the death metal sound and doing something different with it. Blaze Of Perdition, for example, have borrowed elements of the genre to fuse with a black metal core and doom metal finish for an album that’s equal parts caustic, somber and rocking on their latest release Near Death Revelations.
Near Death Revelations, despite its complicated genetic make-up, can be summed up in one word: heavy. Which is unusual, considering that the album contains several clean passages. However, the band infuse even these moments with a brooding ominous vibe. At times they almost feel heavier than the most vitriolic black metal riffage on the album. This isn’t a slight on the riffs either. Blaze Of Perdition have written some wicked earworm guitar parts here, from slow building trudging doom riffs to intense, violently picked black metal scorchers. The contrasting parts seem carefully chosen and placed to give the album a real sense of flow within its variety and at no point does it suffer from its case of multiple personality disorder.
Indeed, its madness is fascinating, the music breathtaking in the avenues it is willing to take, from strange angular riffs to the almost toneless guitar parts in the outro to When Mirrors Shatter. The trip through the album blew me away with the amount of sounds I heard in there that I had never heard before, or never heard combined in that way. The sense of experimentation is constant, and the thing that impressed me the most about the album is that even with the amount of inventiveness and odd parts, the songs still work musically, both feeling coherent and containing all the heavy hooks needed to provide a more visceral metal experience. Integrity meets craft here, and the two combined make for a great album.
Near Death Revelations carries all the insanity, weight and horror its title implies, but rocks you as it does so. Blaze Of Perdition have crafted a black metal album that works from all angles, and deserves your attention. Into The Void Again is embedded below and you can check out the full, spectacular, album on Blaze Of Perdition’s Bandcamp.