Wretched Son of Perdition
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02. Imminent Growth
03. At The First Sign Of Rust
04. Dilated Disappointment
05. Repeat? The End Is Near
06. Dreams Of Chaos
07. The Stellar Sunset Of Evolution Pt. 1 (The Silence)
08. The Stellar Sunset Of Evolution Pt. 2 (The Rise)
09. The Stellar Sunset Of Evolution Pt. 3 (The Son Of Perdition)
10. Karma Accomplished
Wretched have released three albums since 2009, yet they hover low under the scope of most listeners. It's hard to see why that is, once any of their albums are played through. Their death metal sound has bits of technical musicianship in there, and they don't clone out a row of generic tunes with shameless breakdowns and lifeless riffs. Melody is not a tainted word to Wretched, and their penchant for lengthy instrumentals is one of their trademarks. All of these factors play a hand in the band's third album, Son of Perdition.
Trading off the vicious death metal with subdued melody on "Imminent Growth" and "Repeat...The End Is Near," Wretched fuses and transitions these styles with no hitches or abrupt distractions. The latter is a display of technical mastery that breaks down into a spotlight for drummer Marshall Wieczorek.
Meanwhile, if someone wanted to get an all-encompassing taste of what the band offers on Son of Perdition, the capable "Dreams Of Chaos" is a solid example.
That's not to say the band doesn't drop the calmer sections in favor of being loud and brutal. "Dilated Disappointment" is a scorching two minutes of fury, punctuated by powerful screams from new vocalist Adam Cody. "Karma Accomplished" jumps the album back into force after a few low-key tracks, which turns feedback and calculated drum fills into a rousing uptempo anthem. Most of the songs have so many elements running through them that it's appropriate to have a few tracks whose apparent objective is to be relentless.
There will be a select audience who are perplexed by the abundance of instrumentals, but they are not throwaway tracks. The three-part "The Stellar Sunset of Evolution" is a significant highlight to Son of Perdition, as the band embarks on an eight-and-a-half minute journey with no vocals to tell the story. The first part has an eerie calm, setting up the upbeat second part, finishing up with a suffocating gallop fading into darkness on the third part. In between, acoustic guitars, soaring leads, and a tension-filled atmosphere build upon the majestic aura to the instrumental.
Son of Perdition maintains its consistency nearly all the way through, waiting until the end to stumble with the underwhelming "Decimation."
Wretched is able to write technical melodic death metal without sounding like the bastard spawn of The Faceless and Between The Buried And Me. They stand of their own accord, away from mindless comparisons. The dynamics between the heavy-hitting rhythms and soulful, clean interludes are given equal space, and Wretched does this by not compromising with whiny vocals or cheesy keyboards. Son of Perdition is a fantastic release that should elevate Wretched to the upper tier of contemporary metal acts.
Bottom line: A resourceful and gripping melodic death metal record with bits of technical playing, along with one of the most expansive instrumentals released so far this year.
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