Released: 2009, Australis Records
Chile’s Perpetuum (formerly Nocturnal Blasphemy) have been treading their native stages for seven years now, but are only just releasing their debut studio album to the rest of the world (not counting a live album they put out in 2004 under their old name).
GRADUAL DECAY OF CONSCIENCE is an ever-so-slightly blackened death metal feast, with a strong sense of melody. No, this is NOT melodeath, far from it, but Perpetuum do have a certain sense of melodic flair that occasionally pops up in their music that helps distinguish them from the blackened death pack. The three intro/outro pieces aside, the album is packed with long songs (most are more than five minutes long) that really allow the band to explore and branch out musically; not to technical death metal extremes, but certainly more than your average death band. With twisting riffs and swirling leads over top of the relatively standard death metal attack, the imposing “Monoliths” sets the stage for the rest of the album. The highlight, though, is the deliciously evil “Grunts of the Shoggoths” which delves into the Lovecraftian mythos lyrically.
Overall though, Perpetuum’s songs are a bit too similar to one another, with little to help them standout. After a couple of songs I find myself tuning out and barely paying attention. The issue is typical of many bands’ music – nothing is actively bad, but nothing is particularly memorable either. At this point, Perpetuum is a solid death metal band, but not necessarily an essential one.