New Model

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews Albums. Lives. Merch. -

France’s syn­th­wave sen­tinel stretches out into new, dark realms

Thanks To The ster­ling ef­forts of acts like Per­tur­ba­tor, Sur­vive, Car­pen­ter Brut and GosT, the syn­th­wave move­ment has be­come one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing mu­si­cal phe­nom­ena to cross over into the metal world. What needs to be proven now is that the genre has more to of­fer than ex­citable, tur­bocharged re­treads of the 80s sci-fi and hor­ror sound­tracks that spawned it. Per­tur­ba­tor leads the charge ad­mirably on New Model; a 35-minute trek through mono­chrome, dystopian land­scapes and sin­is­ter ur­ban un­der­bel­lies, it’s darker, heav­ier and no­tice­ably weirder than any­thing on 2016’s much-hailed The Un­canny Val­ley. There are a few more nods to con­tem­po­rary EDM than some met­al­heads may be com­fort­able with, not least on the vo­cal-led Vantablack, but the ma­jor­ity of th­ese songs are as heavy and men­ac­ing as any­thing the metal scene has con­jured re­cently. The key to the power that drives dis­ori­en­tat­ing mini-sym­phonies like Tac­ti­cal Pre­ci­sion Dis­ar­ray and Tainted Em­pire is the ag­gres­sive, sub-bass grind that un­der­pins ev­ery last pound­ing digi-groove. As a re­sult, while be­ing a fan of elec­tronic mu­sic will prob­a­bly help, it is by no means a pre­req­ui­site to be­ing sucked into Per­tur­ba­tor’s robotic night­mares. Jar­ring tempo shifts, blis­ter­ing rushes of black am­bi­ence and wonky melodies that act as chinks of hazy light amid the op­pres­sive squall are all in­te­gral here and en­sure that this all makes more sense as an off­shoot of ex­treme metal than of any­thing more chart-friendly. Peak­ing with the mon­strous sprawl of God

Com­plex, this is a fas­ci­nat­ing and laud­ably sub­ver­sive step for­ward.


Perturbator: elec­tric dreams

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