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Review: Dark Matter Secret – Perfect World Creation

DMS_PWC_Cover

Dark Matter Secret is an instrumental three piece that will be releasing their album ‘Perfect World Creation’ on 2nd of June. Now, the term instrumental metal feels like just a bit of an understatement with this band, because yes, there are no vocals, but we cannot stress enough as to just how monstrously technical these guys are. Though they are aimed at fans of technical death metal bands such as The Faceless, Obscura, and Necrophagist, they make those band’s songs sound easy when you go back to them. In general, tech bands serve listeners on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis, and regardless of the opinion one may have of this genre, it is important that listeners speak of the band’s musicianship and playing abilities either in a respectful manner, or not at all.

Before I begin, I must warn you that in order to describe these tracks in an informing manner, I will need to use household terms and the names of bands and shredders to get my point across. Otherwise, if I describe every segment in detail, we’ll be here all day. Secondly, I do know a lot of tech death bands, but the problem is that a lot of them have a reputation for sounding inherently bad, so I am only going to be using names of bands that I think are good.

Skipping the intro track, ‘Ancient Gods Genesis’ dives into a zig-zagging and blast-beat tech death feel that would easily have Beyond Creation fans geeking up with joy. It can be a lot to process at first, but just forty five seconds in, the track moves in a melodic (but still technical) direction complete with neo-classical sweeps and emotional-sounding leads. Bassists will be pleased to know that the interlude roughly four minutes and forty seconds into the track is just one example of the bass solos and isolated bass lines that will appear throughout the album. It’s also safe to say that this song caters to nearly every type of shred enthusiast, as Dream Theater fans can enjoy (or glare at) what very much sounds like a John Petrucci-inspired guitar solo, and 80s shredder fans will have a Vinnie Moore sounding arrangement to look forward to at roughly past the 5:45 mark. In fact, there’s even an acoustic passage for Opeth fans, six minutes in; complete with bass lines that move at the walking pace of a wondering philosopher. Personally, my favorite parts throughout the song is any segment that sounds remotely melodic, one in particular, is the melodic death metal harmony reaching the conclusion of the song.

They say that every technical death metal drummer is better than Joey Jordinson, one cannot help but wonder if every technical death metal guitarist is better than Yngwie Malmsteen… just a thought.

Now, I must apologize in advance, but there is going to be a lot of mentioning of John Petrucci as there are so many similar sounding segments in this song and also in this album. I mean heck, ‘Emergence of Time’ begins with a Petrucci-sounding guitar solo; an array of emotional sounding melodies in odd time signatures and some truly impeccable alternate picking. I personally thought that one of the highest points of the track was roughly at four and a half minutes in the song where we are overwhelmed with extremely melodic tremolo picking accompanied by blast beats, and then transitioning into sweep-picking and sweep-tap-picking. The other highest point is at six and a half minutes in where we hear some sweet melodic licks that are technical as hell, but still sweet. It is very hard to say for sure, but I think this might be the best track on the album.

Like every solid album, some tracks just pale in comparison, and ‘Synthesis of Matter’ is a bit of a mixed feeling for me. There are segments that remind me of Obscura and there are melodic sweeps and segments that remind me of neo-classical shredder Rob Marcello, but there are some melodic parts that I wish could have been just a little bit longer before launching into blast beats. Now, we all love our blast beats, but I feel that they overstay their welcome in this track and shadow some of the more interesting parts, a bit like that one guy at a party that follows you everywhere and only talks about himself while you are trying to catch up with more interesting folk. Also, I found the part at 4:50 to not really be melodic or that impressive, which is strange considering this band is instrumentally flawless all-round. However, I think the parts that stood out the most were the mechanical twangs at 0:27 and 2:48, and also the metalcore sounding riff at 5:38.

The next track, ‘Constellation Glows’ is a rick-recovery for the album as the stability and flow is discovered by what can be classed as an 80s thrash segment in the first forty seconds of the song. While there are plenty of Obscura-inspired segments and sweep picking anthems, I’m quite fond of the chromatic chugging – for those of you that don’t know what that is, just remember the palm-muted bit in Pantera’s “A New Level” or the palm-muted part in Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Three minutes in, there is an interesting part that shows me what a Lamb of God riff would sound like if it was played faster and given a few extra notes. For bassists, there is a tapping solo at five minutes into the track. My favorite part however is what sounds like tapping with pinch harmonics – I could easily be wrong about the technique, but it still sounds great – it’s near the end of the song with a beautiful fade out.

‘Organic Nucleation’, in my opinion, has the best intro of the whole album before transitioning into blast beats. The whole track is strangely diverse as it has something for everyone. For instance, there is A Rob Marcello sounding solo around 0:48 and a Petrucci sounding solo at 4:12 to keep aspiring shredders inspired. Bassists can enjoy a bass solo at 2:40 and a bass intermission at 3:46. There are a few hard rock segments, tapping licks, and chromatic chugs, but I think what makes this track stand out is the country sounding strumming. Now, I don’t know if country strumming is a fair description, but it sounds great nonetheless and it accommodates the clean guitar solo very nicely – this is roughly at 5:58.

The title track, ‘Perfect World Creation’ is arguably the weakest track on the album. To be fair, the guitar lead in the intro does not sound pleasant or natural – something about it just didn’t work for me. Roughly after a minute and a half, there is a Petrucci-sounding solo and what sounds like a hammer-on anthem – that is where the track improves. After three minutes and bit, there is a melodic guitar solo very much worth waiting for, as well as a bass interlude five minutes in. Unfortunately however, the solo does not sound great however impressive or technical it may be to play, and the fade out of the song doesn’t really do anything to help the track. Probably not the best track to finish on, or have the album’s title.

Overall, the album is made by technical enthusiasts for technical enthusiasts, so if you have no prior knowledge of solo shredders, technical death metal, instrumental metal, or at the very least, progressive metal, it is a little unlikely that you will enjoy this album. If however, you have listened to these genres for a while, or you are just a musician actively seeking instrumental inspiration, then this is the perfect album for you to keep you inspired for the whole journey. Harsher perceptions might say that it will make you feel instrumentally inadequate, but let’s face it, that’s a good thing.

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