Pertness – Frozen Time
Pertness is a power metal band from Switzerland that, at first glance, appears to fit fairly easily in the rather general heavy/power metal groove occupied by many German metal bands like Mystic Prophecy, Rage, Brainstorm, and the like. Truth be told, that’s how I’d describe the band’s 2010 release From The Beginning To The End at a glance. However, Frozen Time defies such easy comparison with both the exaggeration of some of the band’s previous quirks and the addition of new ones.
This foursome from Bern open the album with the title track, a fairly innocuous heavy metal stomper with the band’s trademark gritty clean vocals, courtesy of Tom Schluchter, and follow it with the only slightly more exceptional “My Will Is Broken”, which boasts a memorable chorus at least. It wasn’t until the opening riff to “Farewell To The Past” came in that my attention was well and truly captured. Despite being repetitive, this song is one of the strongest and most determined on the album, and I find the entire song to have a very plaintive, morose mood that the band captures very well.
It is on this song and afterwards that Pertness begins to incorporate some more interesting elements. The soft backing flute throughout “No More Messiah” supplements the cold, frugal atmosphere that I believe the band is aiming for, and though this soft acoustic presence is at some times lacking from the overall package, the band’s melodies convey the same emotions. One of the more exceptional songs is “The Last Survival”, which features some desperate and scathing harsh shrieks and screams, accentuating the icy chill of the album even further, and I find them adding a great deal of interest to the sometimes-droning standard vocals.
The band’s sound overall is a bit of a strange mash up. The guitar work is of the medium tempo Euro-power ilk (I’m thinking of smoother bands here, perhaps Dreamtale, Edguy, and the like, especially during the leads), while adding a few folk-inspired melodies, extreme metal vocals, and the malevolent heavy/power balefulness of Mystic Prophecy to the mix. The main problem that Frozen Time encounters is just maintaining listener interest. The rhythm sections are also inconsistent. “Shadow Knights” invites a superior comparison to most heavy/power metal in this department, but aside from this and “Farewell To The Past”, this is pretty standard stuff. Just like From The Beginning To The End, I think that the band only pulls out a couple of clear standouts, with a lot of the music getting somewhat mired and indistinguishable.
Frozen Time is an interesting, and ultimately pretty good listen, but it hasn’t got the excitement, the inventiveness, or the sheer passion to keep me consistently hooked. The band is growing however, and I’d recommend that most fans of mid-tempo, more “powerful” power metal check this out, and folk metal fans may even appreciate a fair amount of this as well.
Dan’s Rating: 3.25 out of 5