Release: June 2022 (Australia) / April 2023 (Europe)
Label: Earth and Sky Productions
In 2022, Perpetual Dawn released their first full-length, self-titled album! Knowing that this is a one-person affair, and looking at the green and brown, earthy-colored album cover and track listing, I was half-expecting a file from the dungeon synth archives. But it’s not! We get a very cohesive forty-three minutes of epic guitar noodles and sporadic vocals fed through a buttery array of effects to describe the journey of our narrator venturing through a decayed wilderness.
With that said, at first listen, I had some issues. The music doesn’t match the lyrics, track title, or general album vibe. The artist describes this offering as “black folk metal”, but, despite all the vocal and guitar distortion, that falls flat. There are unexpected, major-key outbursts and proggy portions everywhere, most notably in the midst of a song purportedly about the “Blood of the Forest”. The vocals are hard to discern because of the effects, but they’re not growly nor screamy. It doesn’t follow verse-chorus progression, and nobody brought a folk instrument, so putting all that together, it’s not particularly “black” nor “folk”.
Then I stopped trying to piece this thing together and listened to it for what it is: a fast and fun metal escape to a legendary swamp. It’s earthy. It’s got some atmospheric vibes, and some funky guitar breaks, some prog elements, and a fast-and-loose song structure. The guitar work is excellent, even giving the listener the occasional power metal riffs. I’m really impressed with the effects: the reverb is present through basically the entire album giving it an overall cohesiveness, delays hang out in some of the tracks’ cleaner areas, and synth leads sneak into a few tracks. There’s a neat syncopated piece where it sounds like a drum is fed through a delay but keeps beat with itself. The vocals are heavily processed, and the whole thing comes out really well. It sticks together cleanly with the vocals and the bass standing out of the mix.
As far as tracks go, “The Blue Lake” stood out, and so did “Portrait of an Omen”. They follow the patterns that the album sets up where vocals tend to appear earlier in the tracks, then run away into instrumental breaks and bridges. “Sense of Fate” was the last track on the album, with some really impressive bass work, and I confess that I was sad that it was over.
I’m excited for the future of Perpetual Dawn. This first proper album playfully messed with expectations and ended up being a lot of fun.
- Mushroom Gully 05:58
- …by the Broken Tree 04:59
- Autumn’s Reminder 03:46
- Portrait of an Omen 04:16
- Blood of the Forest 03:21
- Following the Dying Daylight 03:57
- The Blue Lake 03:26
- …by the Wall of Stone 02:28
- Frozen 04:08
- Sense of Fate 06:38