Last year the Canadian Progressive Death Metal band DERELICT released a 3-track Promo EP (see my review here) as pre-taste for their third full-length. This new album is titled “Perpetuation” and came out on the 20th April. It was mixed and mastered by Chris Donaldson of CRYPTOPSY. This resulted in a clean, polished sound, yet still allowing for the power and aggression of the music and vocals to come out. Sébastien Pittet from Augury was asked to play fretless bass lines for this release.
“Perpetuation” begins with the title track. When looking at the lyrics, it’s probably about the current crisis, or more specifically, the neo-liberalism. It attacks in a direct way and sounds like a machine gun. Eric’s vocals are bestial, to say the least, guiding what you can consider a whirlwind of brutality. But a very nice one, I must say. “Spoils Of War” is next. It’s about Canadian history specifically, but the general idea is this: virtually all human civilizations currently existing on our planet were built upon the bones of other conquered cultures. For more details, go to the band’s website (direct link). The music begins with guitar tapping as the song is gradually being built. Blasting occurs as well, obviously, but soon enough the entire band shifts into highest gear, offering a technical, crazy whirlwind of Jazzy Death Metal. It’s nice to hear a difference between the ferocious verses with Eric’s typical extreme vocals, and the chorus, which is more of a midtempo one, despite the occasional blastbeats. Speaking of which, I find it mindblowing how, with great ease, drummer Jordan Perry played his parts. But of course one should not underestimate the guitar and bass input. In this blasting storm, it’s strange to hear a guitar solo. It will have its use, but I had the impression that it didn’t really fit or belong here. Likewise for the solo at the end.
“Expiry” is the second song from the “Promo EP”. This song, if I interpreted the lyrics correctly, attacks today’s overconsumption, overproductivity for the sake of selling and profits, no matter what it takes. The music itself is no less violent, but takes its time to rush in. But once it does, the ferocity is unstoppable. However, the pace seems be lower here, while halfway and near the end there’s a fast outbreak. In “Digital Birthright” the subject of one’s online life is of importance. How do we behave online? Why are we online? To seek confirmation? To present ourselves differently from real life? What do we hope to find? Or are we only filling our minds with superficial things? In other words, is it a means of escape? Or am I just giving my own impression, which probably only matches the song’s meaning partly? The music itself begins with the bass, a very nice move. Blasting Death Metal sets in soon enough, but makes way for a more regular form of pounding in the verses. It’s an aggressive song, not just musically. There’s quite a bit of variety in the drumparts, even though the blasting prevails. But I like the change, very much. The guitar solo fits better here, compared to previous songs. Another pluspoint is the mix, i.e. the bass comes out very well and should in this musical genre. Also, composition-wise it’s good to hear a distinction between verses and chorus and that’s also due to a more normal flow of the music. This in contrast with songs where you get lots of blasting, more than might be good for you.
“Intricate Decay” deals with the corporations, banks, etc… being corrupt, only interested in their own situation, their own status, paying bonuses to their managers (even if they fuck up). This could be the song about the 1% rich controlling/dominating the other 99% (see also Occupy Wall Street and similar). The song takes a direct start, sounds very progressive before the rapid attack that comes next. Jordan abandones the blasting and opts for more regular drumming, especially in the chorus. Yes, it’s Death Metal, but in quantity the stuff blasts less than before. Eric’s vocal input, growls and screams, is destructive. Not for weak ears. There’s a guitar solo, too, and a bit longer than previously. That’s a good thing, the solos, as it breaks the heaviness a little.
Not even the Olympics are free from criticism. In “Olympic” Eric and co. attack the consequences of the olympic events. When a country organises this event, it needs space for the athletes village, the stadiums, roads, etc… the total infrastructure. When there’s no room, it must be created and what’s easier than kick the less fortunate people out of their houses, maybe give them a financial compensation and relocate them to other areas, as long as the media can show (only) the good of the country (it creates jobs) and how well everyone will be received. And then the masses can enjoy the games on their tv, in full colour, and support their favourite teams and athletes. No need to think about what needed to be done (and paid) to make all this possible, just enjoy the show and numb your mind. Or something like that. “Wir haben es nich gewusst.” is a quote you could use here, but people DO know, only they don’t want to. It’s about having a good time and know why you paid for cable or digital tv. Now, the song itself: the drums set it in, followed by swirling melodic/progressive Death Metal. The verses are very melodic, the rhythm is typical for Thrash and Death Metal. And that’s good. The chorus is different, also in pattern. The guitar solo is well done and blends in nicely. The music is more straight-forward, so to speak and by lack of a better wording, even though it’s still technical enough.
After all these highlights, the second half of the album begins with a song I found less strong: “Ergogenic”. Lyrically I reckon – and correct me if I’m wrong – it’s about having a job, but you have to create profit for the company you work for. Quantity instead of quality. Statistics, numbers, … that’s all that matters. Not how happy you are. It’s about output. The music begins with the guitar, followed by pounding, blasting (though slower) verses, which contain again a high dose of melodicness. There’s lots of room for instrumental talk. Again, I found this song less attractive, it sounded too much of the same and it was hard to grasp it, to follow it. Luckily there’s “Recreated”, offering melodic, pounding Death Metal. There’s a tempo increase, with a catchy rhythm, in the chorus. Lyrically you could interprete it as how present society forms us. What kind of (selfish?) humans have we become?
“Yours To Surpass” is the third and last song off the preceding EP. This one is a kind of motivational song, inspiring you to break free from any bounds to whatever master you have (parents, job, …) and be free, not letting others decide what you should (not) do and thus think for yourself. The song itself is a direct and instant violent eruption of destructive sounds with screamy vocals. Twisted melodic interventions break the wall a little, or better, make it stronger. The change in rhythm and tempo is typical for this style, but when played loud enough (or for the uninitiated), then this is an assault on mind and body. “Shackles Of Indoctrination”, another song I like a lot (several on this album, by the way), is another melodic Death Metal and a fast one. It’s also comparable to OBSCURA and alike. There’s less blasting here and the chorus has a normal midtempo flow. However, you have to stay focused to hear it all. The solo input is bigger than before and the overall feel of the music is dramatic. No wonder, when you look at the lyrics. This song is about the frustration and despair many people around the world feel about the realities of their daily lives, mostly having to do with labor and the things we must do to make a living. It’s also about power, and how we give it up because we’re too afraid to challenge the way things are. For more details about the lyrics, go to the band’s website (direct link).
“The Iridium Layer” has a long, melodic intro. And then the blasting Metal set in; ferocious, devastating, dangerous and fast. Aggressive, too, but with enough melody. Lyrically you could see it as part of the evolution-vs-creationism debate. And maybe about how man plays God. “Emergence” is the last track and is based on the same recipe as before. Progressive Death Metal with drums standing out, next to the riffing, obviously. Variation is key here, in rhythm, tempo, drumming and more. It’s almost hard to see/hear a song in this musical painting and not as what some call technical showing-off. In short, another job very well done. Lyrically, my guess is it’s about fighting the system, that there’s more to this world than money, profit and so on. It’s about keeping this world habitable, healthy for all, so many generations and of course the present generation can lead a happy life or as happy as can be.
I liked the “Promo EP” a lot. “Perpetuation” continues in that same vein, offers so much more. Four times more! There is a lot going on here. In some songs barely 1/3 of the time is passed and it’s as if you’ve been listening to 5 minutes of it, by manner of speech. The song material is throughout the album very aggressive and ferocious, but DERELICT added enough melody to counter that and make the music not only more enjoyable, but also more accessible. However, it is advised to take your time with this new release and allow several spins to let the talent and skills be presented as they should. “Perpetuation” sounds polished and that’s good, but at the same time you could argue if it’s perhaps not a little too smooth? Long story short: if you’re into Progressive Death Metal, then DERELICT is a band you cannot ignore and “Perpetuation” an album you MUST have in your collection.
- Spoils Of War
- Digital Birthright
- Intricate Decay
- Yours To Surpass
- Shackles Of Indoctrination
- The Iridium Layer
Eric Burnet – vocals
Max Lussier – guitar
Jordan Perry – drums