Perpetual Etude – Now Is The Time

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: November, 2021
Released: 2021, Black Lodge Records
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Erich

Gothenburg, Sweden seems to breed an endless supply of metal bands, but upon closer inspection, most of these newcomers are the same people playing in several different and established bands. NOW IS THE TIME is the debut album for Perpetual Etude, a band composed of vets from other projects like the excellent power metal band Dionysus and the equally impressive Air Raid. NOW IS THE TIME is a faithfully rendered mix of early 80s power metal, with noticeable elements of Yngwie, the first two albums of Europe, Racer X, and Fifth Angel. Composed of eight songs and a running time of just over thirty-one minutes, songcraft and quality outweigh quantity and help limit the highly technical guitar shredding that is on display to digestible levels.

The album opener, “I’ve Got The Power” establishes the template going forward for the album as Fyhr employs midrange vocals, the rhythm section holds down an impervious fort, and Magnus Mild’s neoclassical shredding are equal parts John Norum and Yngwie. As the album progresses, there are no ballads and only two songs that sound a bit different from the rest. The single “Show Me” is one, which trespasses deeply into AOR land. The other is album closer, “Our Love”, where Fyhr shows off a bit more of his upper range and Planefeldt lays down a thumping bass line through the verses.

Simply put, it’s all here, half a decade of 80s power metal (not the Helloween variety) compressed into thirty-one minutes. Complete with gallops, significant but not overblown keyboards, and guitar solos that recall an era where an entire record label like Shrapnel devoted itself to guitar solos, this is no simple pedestrian tribute. NOW IS THE TIME could easily have been released in 1984, and even the mix, sterling and clear as it is, has an authentic 80s sound. In an era where retro and metal revival bands are about as rare as air, it is nice to hear a band accurately capture and deliver the sound with a feel of genuine devotion. Highly recommended.



Track Listing:

1. I’ve Got The Power
2. Show Me
3. Straight Through The Heart
4. Once We Were One
5. Hell Fire Burn
6. Now Is The Time
7. Sail Away
8. Our Love


Magnus Mild – Guitar
Kristian Fyhr – Song
Kaspar Dahlqvist – Keyboards
Vidar Mårtensson – Drums
Mikael Planefeldt – Bass