The follow up to their impressive 2016 offering “Collapse”, Southampton based Tech-Infused Metalcore crew Perception released “Monolith” in March. Once again returning to Avenue Studios and getting Dan Kerr back into the production chair seemed a wise decision, as did having him Mix & Master the EP as he did with its predecessor. So how does “Monolith” stack up against the competition?
An atmospheric build into the opening verse before the stomp of opener “Strive”, Perception resist the temptation to leap into a faster tempo, instead increasing the menace and drive of their crushing bass lines against the brutal vocals. This in turn is counter balanced by the tech atmospheres that underlay the majority of the track. The surprise drop to melodic clean vocals and eventually acoustic guitars as the song closes out is the last thing you’d have expected after the crushing opening but it grows on you with multiple listens and adds another dimension to the bands sound. The guttural unclean vocals of the opening of “Defy Dismay” then step things back up a notch with a heavy, thick bass line over laid with an awesome tech-metal lead guitar part. The surprise is perhaps the second up swing and the use of blast beats before dropping back into the second chorus. A bolder use of electronica and clean sung passage segways into “Survive”, acting as a palette cleanser. The outro part of “Defy Dismay” shares the same clean vocal tones and the intro of “Survive” before the battering ram of tech metal guitars and driven bass kick in. There are a couple of lead tech flourishes and synths which add atmosphere and depth as song song bounces between the melodic and heavy with a grace and dexterity that other bands struggle with. By this point in proceedings the lyrical content is thinly veiled as an almost introspective look at the feelings that surround the sudden death of a loved one, anxiety, despair and fragility are all within the depth of the darkness. Title track “Monolith” integrates some buried electronics intro the vocal layer while overlaying a Heart of a Coward-esq lead guitar layer with a chugging heavier riff and booming bass line. If Timfy James had been involved in the writing process, we would not be surprised. The heavy sections are neatly interleaved with some more melodic guitar work that builds atmosphere while the often ferocious vocal is unrelenting in places. “Closure” drops the tempo during it’s melodic intro before the almost harsh whisper of the unclean vocals take us through the first half of the track. Then the drums come in, alongside the heavier guitar sound band slow bass line that drives. A melodic break and second rise then lead the EP to a dark and atmospheric closing. It’s a lyrically thought provoking while offering an atmosphere that gazes into the long distance. [7/10]
“Monolith” by Perception is available over at bandcamp.