Perpetual Fire - Endless World
Power Metal
13 songs (50'19)
Release year: 2006
Perpetual Fire, Adrenaline
Reviewed by Crims
Surprise of the month

Perpetual Fire is band out of Italy and this is their first release. Sounding like a mix between Angra, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Platitude the band brings a lot of positives to the table with only a few negatives. So fans of the above mentioned bands should read on.

Perpetual Fire’s brand of Power Metal is not all that new, but not too many bands play this particular style and play it well at that. For those unfamiliar with newer Angra, older At Vance, and Platitude can expect fast songs, with double bass, neo-classical solos and riffing, beyond melodic choruses, and hints of progressive metal. So, lets talk about the speed of the songs first. Most songs are of the fast variety with only a few mid-paced sections, slow build-up and ballad type songs. Though the band doesn’t reach Dragonforce speeds they sure do love their double bass. Thankfully, the drumming is a highlight of the CD as the drum rhythm changes often. Much like newer Angra the band uses commonly found straight double bass runs and galloping triplets mixed with quick spurts of double bass that start and stop in conjunction with the rhythm guitars. Also featured are breakdowns where the riff chugging is inter-mingled with audible bass and drum patterns typically found in many progressive bands. The riffs are of the traditional European Power Metal variety with some neo-classical overtones. They do have a satisfying tone that brings to mind a late 90’s style of production, one that doesn’t sound over-produced or too heavy for the style. Found in many songs are slow to mid-paced theme leads played throughout bridges and pre-verses. These are excellent and add a lot of replay value and melody to the songs. Sometimes they are harmonized with the keyboards and serve the band well. The actual solos are mixed between slightly faster versions of structured melodic leads and neo-classical shredding (the latter being the more common). This brings me to the bass guitar which actually has a place in the music. Though it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle you can hear many progressive styled bass runs during break downs and fills.

Now, there are some negatives to the music and they mainly come from the keys. The problem does not stem from what the keys are playing (which is usually very good) but from the actual production and mix, and overall sound. They seem to be really low quality and in all honesty sound almost like a casio keyboard or music from a Super Nintendo game. The keys do vary from background synth, to neo-classical trade offs with the guitars, and also epic and bombastic string melodies. So the problem is definitely not the usage or the skill level of the player but rather the “cheap” sound that ends of being distracting; especially since the drums and guitars have such a satisfying production job.

The vocals are a mixed-bag depending on your tastes. The range of the singer is quite good and usually stays in higher octaves with heavy use of vibrato and falsetto. Tone wise and sustain wise: the vocals are excellent; showing a good degree of control and added melodies that build on the guitars. The problem I’m about to describe is a matter of taste. Some people cannot stand to listen to Primal Fear because the vocals during many choruses, and even verses have multiple tracks. So, basically you have Ralph Scheepers backing himself up in 3-4 different octaves. You’ll find this to be quite common here as well. I personally do not mind this at all but for those of you who really detest vocal tracking may be bothered by it. The one unique aspect of the band are sporadically placed harsh vocals done a Black Metal style. They appear in about half of the songs usually for a few lines only. I have to admit they sound gimmicky but admittedly are well done and enhance the song Hurricane quite a bit. Also, I should add that I found many choruses to contain an early Nocturnal Rites vibe both in execution and melody style.

The song writing on this release is mostly strong throughout. I can say there aren’t any weak songs but when you compare the CD to other leaders in this style of Power Metal it falls slightly below the high standards set by Angra in particular. The cohesiveness of the song writing is not completely there as the band tends to repeat themselves a bit too much in the rhyhm department (the bad part to this is when the band slows down or even goes mid-paced they aren’t as interesting unless there's a lead involved). Some tempo changes also don’t lend themselves to satisfying song progression. I feel the best example of this is the very Dream Theater styled “heavy” riff in The End Of A Dream which progresses into a ballad-styled bridge. That transition is a little odd and doesn’t help build the song in a way that I find satisfying especially after the “heavy” mid-paced riff brings a nice contrast to the fast riffing found in the other songs. I would agree this is a minor quip but as mentioned the bar has been set very high in this style with a few legitimately legendary or border-line legendary releases in the past few years. In any case, the talent and song writing potential is there for the band and after all, this is their first release; thus, they should only get better. Endless World is recommended to fans of neo-classical infused Power Metal with hints of progressive Metal.

Check out these samples from the bands website:
Shadow Call mp3

Maybe video

Killing Songs :
Shadow Call, Maybe, Hurricane, The Calm Before The Storm
Crims quoted 82 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:19 pm
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