It’s been a damn long while since my last truly enjoyable Finnish black metal. Perhaps it is ear-fatigue, but the black-core route that Finnish legends such as Sargeist or Behexen is going got me feeling rather jaded. So when I first received Perdition Wind‘s sophomore LP Transcendent Emptiness, there was some semblance of hope, with that album artwork being reminiscent of the creepiness of early artwork of Darkthrone or Sargeist. But the question remains – would this rekindle my faith and love for Finnish black metal?
The band starts off strong with Of Smoke and Mirrors, and one is thrown into the classic style of the second wave of black metal. The relentless riffs, and the chilling atmosphere are all reminiscent of pioneering Norwegian bands Mayhem or Darkthrone, though the shrieks of J.I. that are rather comparable to those of Nag helps to bring about comparisons with Tsjuder or Krypt. The material on Transcendent Emptiness though carry a slightly more aggressive edge to them though, and the more martial segments on the album do bear resemblance to the later works of their compatriots such as Behexen and Sargeist.
With all the talk of the influence of second wave black metal, Perdition Winds does go back to their roots from time to time. For instance, Malicious Steed brings in some Bathory-inspired riffs, bringing with them a Viking metal vibe which leaks into the lead guitars on the track as well, however slight that influence may be. The Swedish influence constantly rears its ugly head throughout the record, and I swear that the way the band weaves slower, more seemingly contemplative moments into their music reminds me of the recent works of bands like Watain.
The production on Transcendent Emptiness is also brash and loud, and the trebly guitars often take the forefront of the record, reinforcing the abrasiveness of Perdition Winds‘ craft on the listener. Also, rather than taking the muddy route with buried instruments, R.S.’ drums has that highly reverberative effect that provides a certain level of epicness to the album.
Transcendent Emptiness presents to fans of black metal a perfect balance of coldness, bleakness, and aggression in 50 minutes. Suffice to say, Perdition Winds‘ sophomore album has restored my love for this particular style of black metal.