Gene Palubicki from Angelcorpse notoriety returns with a new album that continues within the tradition of Black metal informed Floridian Death metal. Perdition Temple bring a level of technical acumen that has been denigrated by fans and practitioners of this style in recent years without falling into the pitfalls of Modern metal.
Establishing itself firmly within the Morbid Angel camp of death metal, the riffs immediately bring to mind those of Covenant and Altars of Madness without outright plagiarizing them. The riffs are comprised of either a tremolo picked center or a galloped set of power chords that are then enriched by a tail that adds melody to these short ideas. There are occasional hints of a sense of melody more akin to black metal but those are used sparingly to provide fluid transitions between the songs main peaks of interest.
Sacraments of Descension is firmly focused on a monochromatic expression of anger that does not waiver at any moment except towards the conclusion of each song as the final riff reaches for stability before ending unceremoniously. Therein lies the problem of this record, while riffs are repeated in rapid cycles and the whole record flows without any reproach, it remains forgettable as there are very little changes in overall energy.
The tempo changes and transformations in riff shape don’t build tension nor is there ever any release. Ideas are only brought back once every riff has been introduced with brief exceptions made for guitar solos. While this approach worked for Sinister on Cross the Styx, here it fails as the riffs don’t have the memorability for such a style to work.
The technical wizardry is also tiring at times as there is no room to breathe and Perdition Temple assault the listener constantly with short fills and hyperactive melodies that never give the music any respite to properly state its ideas but saturate the listener with constant information that never allows these to develop their identity beyond a collection of coherent ideas.
The individual segments make a lot of promises that the whole can’t keep due to the lack of vision at the macro level. It is admirable for such skill to not fall at all within the boundaries of modern metal and the band have an excellent in integrating some of Trey Azagthoth’s solos into their riffs but it will take much more to reach the summit of the style that is occupied by Blizzard Beasts and Godless Arrogance. Sacraments of Descension occupies the bizarre place of being an enjoyable yet forgettable listen.