Perdition Winds - Aura of Suffering - (7/10)
Published on March 10, 2015
Comprised of members of Desolate Shrine and Lie in Ruins, Perdition Winds is a newly formed black metal outfit that doesn’t belie its origins but meets the two bands in the middle as far as quality is concerned. It is indeed a product that probably could’ve resulted in something slightly better than what’s on offer but in terms of reconciling the two aforementioned ambitions the band’s debut album, Aura of Suffering, is certainly nothing to dismiss so easily, either, as it does a very serviceable job at exploring the bowels of black metal from a death metal perspective.
Which is to say, the album is not simply a convenient black/death hybrid to shrug off unused material, but rather, Perdition Winds has, in a very odd way of putting things, tried with a moderate level of sincerity to differentiate itself by hybridizing its components into a black metal version of itself. It’s somewhat hard to tell what’s really going on, considering the level of involvement of the band members, and the focus continues to blur with guitar tuning that Dismember is known for, giving Desolate Shrine fans yet another firm point of reference.
All this, of course, is not mere surface level abstraction, either, as the music itself, quite like the relative duplicity of the presentation, is not entirely one-sided in composition as there is a vague resemblance to some of the tropes of the aforementioned bands. It comes caked with dirt and grime like one might expect and it can at times be an unexpectedly hook and groove oriented form of black metal when it isn’t dragging its discordant riffs through the mud with intentional dissonance and longwinded dirge. Its speed, though, and relative fast-forward nature, is where Perdition Winds has quite clearly differentiated itself, and it isn’t black metal to take into the forest to convene with the stars; it’s meant to disorient and offend, and it succeeds quite admirably, even when it diverges from its main attraction, such as the bass-heavy death metal tremolo riffs in “Gray,” which add well-placed badassery to the whole mix.
Some power chords, too, have a melodic tinge ala Megadeth’s “Hangar 18,” meanwhile Kampfar’s folk-like melodies crop up, making for unusual but easy bedfellows that pair equally well with discordant guitar effects that escalate with a slow and long reverb. Variations of such themes, and indeed the repetition of similar chords (“Gray” and “Temple Within,” for example), creates an identity held together by its similarities, which is common anyway in black metal, but interestingly done so here, where the Desolate Shrine vibe unites the subgenre with death metal at a subliminal, and at times, structural level. Although a good thing, when you think about it, it seriously must be considered what Perdition Winds is trying to achieve since some of this material really could’ve been used elsewhere, yet it’s obvious enough that most of it really needed its own receptacle. An identity crisis of sorts, perhaps, but it’s a good starting point that can only get better from here.