Released: 2012, Victory Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
After the so-long-anticipated, and energy-sapping birth of a first album, there’s little wonder that people call the process of creating a follow-up difficult. Yet having moved past that hurdle, melodic death-metallers Wretched are making this three with latest full-length release Son Of Perdition. And it’s an album full of the cocky attention-seeking attitude usually associated with the family baby. But then as an overlooked middle child perhaps I’m just bitter.
Perhaps this is in part down to a change in vocals courtesy of Adam Cody, who brings a new, but not necessarily better, kind of ferocious energy to proceedings. Whether he feels he has something to prove is unknown, but certainly his bark lives up to Wretched’s musical bite.
The orchestral choir of ‘Oblivion’ is not such a surprising beginning, if you’re aware of the band’s previous work, but it does still do the intended job of building into first track-proper ‘Imminent Growth’. It certainly sounds evil enough to see off your average hymn-singer, but luckily Wretched aren’t one of those bands who think death metal means smashing away endlessly at your instruments until you’re left staring at the bloodied fragments like the Hulk after a missed anger management session.
Wretched ‘get’ that a bit of structure and variety go a long way in pulling together the blasts and shreds, such as in epic –tinged ‘Dreams Of Chaos’ and ‘At The First Sign Of Rust’, so that you’re not left with one long repetitive aural assault. If that’s the way you like it perhaps a demolition crew should visit your house instead – you may not have any walls left but your ears will probably never lose that pounding sound.
If you were wondering where the melody comes into all this churning aggression, look no further than shape-shifting three-part instrumental ‘The Stellar Sunset Of Evolution’. An unexpected, but beautifully constructed, gem each aspect ties together atmospheric picking, intense riffing, and even flamenco stylings, to paint a picture that is surprising vivid for the usually dark canvas of death metal.
This eye for detail, and ability to also knock out a good neck-acher, is what puts Wretched ahead of the pack. They say they grow up too fast, and certainly on the strength of its offering Son of Perdition won’t stay small very long. Not sure that album cover is the type of snap you want in the family album though.
Review by: Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs