Who ever said that metal is dead and attracts no talent? I always love those folks. They probably never went beyond a bit of AC/DC1) and – oh delicious shudder – some Metallica. Because – guess what – Iron Maiden is the devil’s work and Bruce Dickinson surely grows horns every night.2) And after uttering Ozzy’s name, they’ll run for the mouthwash, because he’s the Non Serviam guy (which he is not, by the way). And that between a gazillion other evil things.
Well, hells bells, this makes me want to introduce these folks to Aversed and their debut full-length record Impermanent. A young band and – a pretty wild one to boot. That would be shock and awe right there for those anti-metallists.
You see, once I heard Haydee Irizarry roar away, it was a bit like stepping on the gas of a race car. The girl really got the goods. And she takes off with a vibrant power that made us sit up straight once the record started.
It is – of course – also true that the band hunted far into Arch Enemy’s and – especially – Alissa White-Gluz’s backyard. But the way she handles her growling AND uses her pretty impressive clear voice at the same time just knocked my cap off my skull.
So, that’s it, the review’s over, right? Not so fast.
Impermanent indeed takes off with a very first Death Metal piece called Natsukashi that seems to spring right out of AE’s War Eternal playbook. Yet, similarities soon blur when brutal metallic realities and a sometimes dystopian atmosphere sets in. Rapid-fire changes in tempo, genre, and tonality feel like the harbinger of doom in a world gone dark. And it is in this wild multiverse of ever-changing styles that the album really shines.
Now, melodic Death Metal with a large dose of thrash may be Impermanent‘s main fare. But I was – again – taken aback by those relatively frequent progressive undertones, tilted tech interludes, and some jazz that suddenly bubbles up. This record is – yet again – an unboxed version of metal, one that refuses to be shelved into tight genres that leave a band no wiggle room to develop.
And if variation was the theme, this record would score big time. From the speedy title track, over the mid-tempo heavy chugging on the varied Laboratory, to the excellent Abandoned with its snazzy ambient acoustic part at the very beginning, boredom is never in it. A jambalaya of elements that would not refuse the label alternative, if not experimental at times.
Impermanent is so all over the place, it is about as difficult to contain as a bag of fleas. But that’s probably intentional, and we truly dig that. A band that finally (just) makes metal music without escaping to weirdo country at the same time. And they do that with an almost manic and true energy that only few rock bands display. Apart from the (small) fact that they truly know their way around their instruments, too.
Yet often, Aversed try a bit too hard to be this style-hopping, hard-charging Extreme Metal band. This leads to a certain tediousness, a tendency to aimlessly roam about the soundscape, with tracks that often sound somewhat similar one to another. Or is it just sensory overload? Who knows, right?
In other words, the age-old rule of ‘less is more’ may find an application here as well. Not every song needs to be a holdall of all those snazzy things stellar musicianship can create. Or, in other words, don’t always slap yer full monty around everybody’s head, just because you can. You might wear people out, else.
Ultimately, Impermanent really lived up to its name. Nothing on that blurb is really set in solid metal. It’s all in flux and the band isn’t shy to shred steel usually set in concrete and create something different. And they don’t do that by wreaking needless havoc. Instead, they use whatever soundscape will fit a song best. And then they – artfully – go for it.3)
So, by Loki’s miserable minions, Impermanent was probably one of the wildest rides of 2021 so far. If ever you yearn for real metal, do give this disk a spin. But clap on to something, its centrifugal force might eject you into space, there’s so much power.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Band Facebook
Release Date: 19 March 2021