Titled: Seek What They Sought
Label: Osmose Productions
Release 22 February 2019
Country: United Kingdom
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
Due to the super saturation of bands starting with the originators from the 1980s right through to the present day, one could be forgiven for thinking that the death metal genre all starts to sound the same and merge into one continuous blur to the point where it can be difficult to tell one band apart from the other. Nevertheless, a band rises head and shoulders about the rugby scrum of bands vying for the listener’s attention, with some sort of deeply attractive allure or some kind of sonic innovation that sets them apart from the crowd. The band in question, is PERNICION.
Currently, PERNICION are another project band from the highly creative Anil Carrier (of Anaal Nathrakh – live, Binah, No More Room In Hell, Towers of Flesh), and it’s plain for all to see he likes to keep himself entertained with his fingers in a few bands, along with Dan Benton (no relation to Glen of Deicide) on vocal duties. The best way to describe PERNICION is imagine a blend of Immolation, with a slightly Entombed-esque guitar tone with a pace that’s akin to a doomier version of Sulphur Aeon’s works that conveys an air of innovation that sounds deliciously fresh. The opening track ‘Summoning’ is a a perfect case in point, sounding particularly dark and foreboding in tonality that’s carried along brilliantly with the guttural and desolate growls from Dan Benton that adds a layer of crushing sonic intensity making for a perfect introductory track. ‘Mantorok’ begins with a wall of doomy sounding guitars, and then proceeds to tear your head off with monstrous blastbeats at an insane pace akin to Anaal Nathrakh’s work in terms of ferocity and bombast; demonstrating that PERNICION can perform abrupt tempo shifts to catch the listener by surprise, that don’t sound out of place and integrate perfectly with the track’s structure.
“The Darkness Comes” has an almost Bolt Thrower feel, thundering on with an almost grindcore-esque intensity that’s a perfect showcase to Anil Carrier’s drumming capabilities, demonstrating perfectly why he’s the perfect candidate for Anaal Nathrakh playing live sets whilst ‘Deconsecration’ is a highly effective track back around relatively simple riff patterns and melodies that are maddeningly catchy. The closing track ‘Tome’ evokes a suitably doomy atmosphere, with crushing atonal riffs that are strangely uplifting in nature that sounds contradictory on paper mixed with a doom type sound, but has a perfect execution that works brilliantly; integrating with the rest of the albums tracks and overall structure.
PERNICION manage to pull off something that’s quite incredible, to release an EP that sounds as if it belonged on the Earache album catalogue circa 1992 – but at the same time sounding modern and fresh. There’s elements of bands past and present, without sounding like a pastiche of a whole bunch of things with no identity of its own; which is a big problem among the death metal genre in the past couple of years. Yet, the whole album bristles with a sense of excitement akin to being in a certain age bracket and getting into extreme metal for the first time, without the wrinkles and greying stubble from being there when the scene first kicked off all those years ago. Somehow, these guys have managed to create something of a sonic unicorn in terms; one can only hope this album isn’t a one off that in the distant future will be forgotten in the sands of time. 9/10 Goth Mark