I feel kind of sorry for Towers of Flesh. Not only have they chosen themselves a right daft name, one that might conceivably adorn a special interest below-counter Digital VD product (about willies), they’ve also managed to record an album that doesn’t just hide their lamp under a bushel. It seals it in amber, lead and reinforced concrete, then buries it in the Mariana Trench.
If I knew the first thing about black metal, I imagine I might be saying that The Perpetual Paradox sounds about as generic as black metal gets. All the right bits are in place, as far as I can tell. It has those vile, clattering, witless blast beats that I hear you fucking idiots are so fond of. It has some dark riffing, and vocals that sound like the Cookie Monster coughing up bits of woodbine-flavoured biscuits. The songcraft seems reasonable – if unremarkable – as well, all made up of quick, thumping bits, interspersed here and there with bits of nice atmospheric stuff. I find I can get from one end of the record to the other without any particularly venomous reactions.
In fact, there’s only one reason I can think of to properly, actively dislike this: The sound is as limp as my grandad’s dangle.
Not sure what’s gone wrong between writing and recording, but there’s just no power here, no balls whatsoever. The guitars are all but hidden under the bellowed vocals, while the drums seem to occupy a sonic dimension entirely their own. When he’s not doing utterly generic, ubiquitous, omnipresent blast beats, the drummer seems to like striking absolutely all of his many cymbals, absolutely all of the time. It’s highly conspicuous, given the desolation of the soundscape, yeah I totally just said ‘soundscape’ bitches, and it actually sounds like the band members are in different rooms or something. Consequently, accents carry little emphasis, and the sound never actually coheres; never actually clicks into place. And speaking of clicks, is he using Starcraft players for bass drums?
There’s not much I can say about the individual tunes. Mostly, they do this (fast), then they do that (slow). Then they do this again. That is as much description as I can muster. I don’t hate anything on this record, but I honestly do not care if I never hear any of it again.
Oh alright, if you must. Let’s see here.
Forbidden Gnosis is probably the best thing in a middling bunch, and might indicate that Towers of Flesh are a band with some potential, if they can sort their sound out. Mostly it’s down to the long instrumental passages that stray into progressive climes from time to time. It judders along on the back of 32nd note bass drums that quickly begin to sound monotonous, yet in spite of that, manages to continually metamorphose. Not quite enough to compel you, but enough to take your mind off the intoxicating prospect of inevitable murder-suicide for its ten minute or so length.
Otherwise, The Perpetual Paradox is not that hot. I don’t think it’s a bad record, it’s just an unremarkable one. And production-wise, it sounds fucking terrible. Back to the drawing board on that score, phallus (fellas).