PERVERSION - Pillars of The Enlightened [Review]

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Self-released
Released: February 17, 2012
Reviewer: Kareem Chehayeb

I always thought that Perversion where in the shadow of some other bands in the Middle East. Since 2006, this death metal band has been tearing venues apart. The band is made up of Mahmud Gecekusu on guitars/vocals and Rhama on bass/vocals. The duo are the two remaining founding members of the band. Their current live drummer is England-based Alex Micklewright, but have worked with familiar drummers in the regional scene, including Ratish Chadha (ex-A Shot of Adrenaline, Alpha.Kenny.Buddy) and Bachir Ramadan (Weeping Willow). Pillars of the Enlightened has been in the works for a very long time, so it has been an album we have been anticipating for a while!

Through the Void is a short intro track that starts with a continuous dissonant piano melody that builds up with a powerful string section and orchestra. I don't have much to say about it. It sounds good, and reminds me of the sort of thing that Vital Remains have done in their past couple of albums.

The first track opens up, and it's filled with nothing more than pure death metal goodness. Aging the Unbirthed sounds like the lovechild of Vader and Obituary. Rhama, who is the lead vocalist of the band, has growls that can shake the earth. His bass playing is tight and is well placed in the mix, making a great combination with the technical Mahmud G. on the guitar.

The Great Deception smoothly follows up from the previous track, and it's really the same story. Low growls, heavy and tight riffs. We first see Mahmud's lead work in this track, and I definitely like what he's done. Beautiful melodies that change the wavelength in the song, which is generally consistent.

The next track Pillars of the Enlightened is my favorite of the album. It reminds me a lot of Suffocation. A nice mix of blast beasts and heavy death metal breakdowns that can stir up crowds in seconds. I also have to give credit to Mahmud's solo at the end. The song is heavy, fast, and all over the place - just the way I like it - but that solo is so beautifully phrased and melodic. I think their ability to combine blastbeats, breakdowns, fast and technical riffs, AND beautiful phrased solos makes this album more unique than the hundreds of efforts death metal bands have been trying to pull off today.

Overall, Pillars of the Enlightened is a great album that everyone should get their hands on. While many metal fans today have lost interest in death metal, I think it's important they still remember the musicians in that sector of metal that influences many modern bands today. I admire Perversion for sticking to their guns and adding a twist to the work by not using excessively technical solos. I think a common critique of the album might be how the songs just all flow together as if they're one huge track. However, while the production can be slightly better in terms of dynamics, it took a couple of listens to value the individual tracks of this album more than at first listen. If you are fortunate to be in Dubai or somewhere where they happen to be playing soon, I recommend watching them live too.

Perversion are preparing for a show in Germany at Queens of Metal Festival, where they are opening up for Suffocation, Vader, Exodus and a number of other bands! They're also writing some new songs and working on a new release! I feel like these Middle Eastern metal veterans finally have gotten what they've deserved.

If you like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Vader, Obituary, Vital Remains, and the like, then this is the album for you!

[Ed note: Visit PERVERSION on Facebook to stream Pillars of The Enlightened in it's entirety (available for a limited time!)]

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