At last, a promising band from my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. As stated on their myspace, Perpetual Nightmare is a death/thrash metal band. But unfortunately for them, the quality of the EP "The Final Solution" has lessened the impact of their music on me. I'm going to do a track by track review for this one, since it only has 3 tracks.
First off, "Shadows of Existence". Arguably the catchiest song on the album, Nightmare surges forward with their twin riffing attack. Dan Hogan's shouted/screamed vocals of "A darkened enmity blackens my soul, thoughts of nothing warm, they've all turned cold" combined with the catchy as hell chorus riff, which piqued my interest immediately. And that's where I lost track a little bit. They go into a breakdown of sorts, not your typical chug chug of deathcore, but a thrashy one that will throw you for a loop if you're not used to it. After that, they go back to the catchy chorus riff. The solos are excellent, especially Hogan's. If they rewrote a little of that song to make it flow better, it could be my favorite off the album.
Next up, "Her Black Abyss". The lyrics are about, well, just what you'd think they would be about. Being a bit more groove oriented, this song is interestingly catchy and heavy. The drums pound through the chorus, with Scot Robertson's double kick drum rolls being the highlight. The riffing is a little standard in this song...until you get to the break. Hogan and Aaron Guzman engage in a string skipping dual guitar battle, which builds until it thunders back into the chorus again. The only part that is annoying is the intro, which doesn't do anything at all for the song.
And lastly, the title track of this EP. It starts off with a nice clean, eerie guitar intro. Unfortunately, one guitarist decided to go into the distorted part too early, and it sounds off. After they get their act together, the guitars propel the song into a nice thrashy riff right away. Another notible point is Robertson's double kicks, which thunder through the verse at a breakneck speed. Plenty of tempo changes to satisfy the technical fans, too. And lastly, Hogan's sweep outro is pleasantly surprising and brutal.
Unfortunately, what really kills this release is the production. The drums sound overly triggered and programmed. The guitars sound thin and lack the power of a typical death/thrash release. The bass is non-existent. And the vocals have a very annoying chorus/phaser effect that makes Hogan's normally good shrieks almost unbearable.
Overall, if you want to get a feel for this band, you should pick up this release. It delivers what it claims to: heaviness, brutality, metal. But if you really want to know who they are, see them in concert. They really are just that good.