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OneMetal.com music REVIEW: Derelict – Perpetuation

Derelict – Perpetuation

Considering the Canadian reputation for near-suspicious levels of polite inoffensiveness, it seems unusual that America’s neighbours to the north are such a prolific exporter of maelstrom-churning, frenetic technical death metal. Montreal-based tech-death quintet Derelict differ from the likes of Cryptopsy, Neuraxis and their ilk in one key respect, however – they leaven the chaos in their compositions with healthy doses of melody and groove.

That’s not to say that they’re tech-death-lite, however – during the 43-minute pummelling of the band’s second album, Perpetuation, the needle on my patented aggression-o-meter barely dips below “Pretty Fuckin’ Livid” at any point. Vocalist Eric Burnett’s exhortations stay firmly in harshly-screamed / gutturally-roared territory throughout, his spite-filled lyrics delivered with wallpaper-stripping ferocity and impressive clarity in a manner that sounds not entirely unlike one Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God. Meanwhile, as Burnett grunts, roars and shrieks away, the rest of the band displays a mastery of their instruments that puts one in mind of a high-speed ‘Tables, Ladders and Chairs’ wrestling match between The Black Dahlia Murder, Death and Decrepit Birth. Drummer Jordan Perry’s deployment of blastbeats is frequent, guitarists Max Lussier and Simon ClĂ©roux unspool intricate tapestries of tremolo-picking, scale-scampering and finger-tapping riffs, and Xavier Sperdouklis’ fretless bass noodlings provide both weight and low-end melodic counterpoint, adding an almost jazzy flavour to the high-speed assault.

What really makes Perpetuation a successful album, however, is not the bombardment of the senses that occurs when the band shift into top gear and blast for all they’re worth – rather, it’s the keen sense of structure and dynamics the band employ in their songwriting which makes each track a memorable effort in its own right. See, for instance, the mid-point of ‘Olympic’, which shifts down a few gears for a relatively simplistic, stomping riff which leads satisfyingly into an instantly memorable tapped solo, or the primally satisfying, neanderthalic bludgeon of the riff that barges rudely into view at the 2:13 mark of ‘The Iridium Layer’. Such moments are scattered liberally throughout Perpetuation, meaning that the album never simply fades into the background as an unvarying cloud of widdly-blasty white noise.

Of course, all the instrumental prettiness and compositional nous in the world would be all for naught were the album hamstrung by a muddy, indistinct mix – thankfully, Cryptopsy‘s Chris Donaldson was on hand for mixing and mastering duties, and he delivers a production that allows enough separation between the instruments so that all of the members’ uniformly impressive contributions can be heard, and that none are left sounding anaemic. So, in conclusion – Perpetuation is a highly recommended release for fans of technical death metal which doesn’t skimp on melody or memorability.

Derelict’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DerelictMetal

Bottom Line

Derelict's 'Perpetuation' is that rare tech-death album that strikes a precise balance between chaotic aggression and hooky, memorable songcraft. Highly recommended.

4/5 - Great, recommended

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