Perpetual Etude - Now Is The Time
Black Lion Productions
Melodic 80s Metal
8 songs (32'01")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Swedish Perpetual Etude is the second album this week from the genre I don’t often listen to. Well, actually way back in the day, give or take 35 years ago, this was precisely the album I would hold in high esteem. Honest melodic metal was a staple of my high school years, and how could it not have been when everyone around was listening to bands like Europe, King Kobra or Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Magnus Mild, the mastermind behind Perpetual Etude, must have been looking to those times with the same sense of sentimental appreciation, so 80s metal is what is spilling from Now Is the Time, and spilling in endless forceful waves. Magnus harbored these ideas apparently for years, but after teaming up with vocalist Kristian Fyhr, he decided that it is now or never, so Perpetual Etude was born and Now Is the Time became not only the album’s title but a manifesto of feeling self-confident and ready to deliver.

To be 100% honest, and I even looked for flaws on purpose, the album could have been so much worse. Now Is the Time is not classic heavy metal along the lines of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Accept, but instead melodic metal which could have easily ended up a pile of cheesy mess. To its credit, it is not, but instead we are presented with a collection of short, punchy, rocking, catchy songs, mostly uptempo, without outright balladeering (although Show Me tries taking it in the softer direction). Instead we have catchy riffs (Once We Were One), hooks laden choruses (Once We Were One, Hell Fire Burn), tinge of keyboard arrangements (Straight through the Heart), solid manly vocals supported by all bandmembers contributing gangstyle (title track) and overall outright positive disposition. Skirting glam territory on occasion (Our Love), these songs however are not sappy or designed for rock and guitar heroes to woo the ladies. In fact, they will probably find equal appear in metal’s male and female audiences.

Much to my surprise I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed Perpetual Etude, and even though the obvious bigger name comparisons are aforementioned Yngwie and Edguy, smaller, less known Joshua Perahia or Kenziner (Kristian Fyhr at times is a dead ringer for Stephen Fredrick) are even better references. 32 minutes of Now Is the Time certainly don’t overstay their welcome and I honestly wanted more after it was over.

Killing Songs :
Straight Through the Heart, Once We Were One, Hell Fire Burn, Now Is the Time
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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