Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Hailing from Kuopio, Finland and in their eighth year of creating fiercely traditional style metal, Perpetual Rage is back! Back with a fantastic brand new studio album, ‘Empress Of The Cold Stars‘, that they will issue via Inverse Records on June 16th.
The ten-track album is their follow-up to their well-received 2015 début, ‘The New Kingdom’, and sees Tomi Viiltola (vocals), Ari Helin (bass & backing vocals), Petri Hallikainen (guitars), and Kari Hyvärinen (drums) back with an assured sonic vengeance!
Stylistically culling obvious inspiration and influence from iconic acts, like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Perpetual Rage is the embodiment of pure metal. That reality is quickly established here, too, once the opening track is unleashed following a brief intro. “Dragonlancer“ rumbles into earshot with the force of a runaway train. Powered by propulsive drumming that pumps like an engine’s pistons, the guitars rip like razor-sharp claws. Epic, over-the-top and superbly empowered vocals provide an inescapable attention grabber.
The musical content of this album hearkens back to the days of glorious power metal bands that paved the way for all metal to diligently follow. That could not be any more clear than it is on such a stellar song like “The Empress“. The grandiose, enchanting vocals of this song are of a caliber equal to the great Bruce Dickinson or early Geoff Tate. Those utterly phenomenal vocals continue for the duration of the album, accompanied by the intricate, equally astounding music.
While the entirety of the release is top-notch, I found several stand out songs that I especially enjoyed. Ones like “Boundless“, “The Creation“, and “Wildfire” are each incredible in their own rights, but I really have to mention a few songs in particular.
First, my favorites are a pair of back-to-back tracks, “Evil” and “Mark Of Chaos“. They are both on the heavier side of things, but with nice melodic touches. They ripple with metallic attitude and then sufficiently blister your ears with their full-on, relentless strength.
Lastly, the album-ending “Silent Sky“, a more defiantly ballad-like track that channels very poignant, profoundly heartfelt emotion in its lighter, but still yet remarkable, muscular musical content.
In closing, it is without question or doubt that I hail this incredibly good, worthwhile album, ‘Empress Of The Cold Stars‘, from Perpetual Rage. This was my own introduction to the band and yes, I am thoroughly impressed. Over the years, I have lost a lot of my initiative to seek power metal bands on my own, because very few impress me as that style of metal did when I was younger. Therefore, it is nicely reassuring to discover a powerhouse band like Perpetual Rage.