Light from darkness. Sound from silence. Something from nothing. These dynamics and dichotomies are central to the much debated origins of our planet. On a philosophical and spiritual level, the circumstances of our provenance are imposing and overwhelming. The sheer scope, energy and force that brought us into existence demands a sweeping soundtrack. Dark Matter Secret attempt just that on their new EP, Perfect World Creation. To be released on June 2 via Artisan Era Records, the seven-track album explores the various theories of our Earth’s origins. The Russian trio’s melodic brand of instrumental technical death metal offers a stunning score to accompany the birth of worlds.
“Chaos Born” is a distinctly eerie and chaotic soundscape to open the EP. Dissonance, sounds stretched beyond recognition, and haunting clean guitars contrast the following meticulous neoclassical death metal of “Ancient Gods Genesis”. Over the course of eight and a half minute track, guitarist Denis Shvarts does not waste any time establishing his dazzling guitar vocabulary with a mix of technical riffs and Yngwie-isms like pedal tone licks and speed-of-sound sweeps. However, equally prominent in the mix is fretless bassist Pavel Semin’s dynamic counterpoint. The long form composition of this track, shifting tempos and meters, and classical vibe set the foundation for the rest of Perfect World Creation’s songs.
Although Dark Matter Secret’s technical compositions are delivered with mechanical precision, they retain a human element so often lost by their peers. Whether it be the hard rock swagger lingering in some of their riffage in “Synthesis of Matter”, or the genuinely emotional lead work found throughout the record, the trio’s tracks possess a genuine and emotional identity often lacking in technical death metal. No more is this the case than on the record’s single, “Organic Nucleation”: its relentless, knotted riffs contain a sense of movement akin to classical music, but the distinct vibrato, harmonized guitar lines and the occasional punk rhythm add a sense of human diversity to the music.
At just short of seven minutes, the title track that closes the EP is the briefest full song on the record. Rhythms and tempos that seem to shift at random create a sense of chaos contrasting the song’s title. Featuring Semin’s prominent bass runs amidst Shvart’s shredding, Perfect World Creation closes in fine form with a distinct mix of spacey, early Animals As Leaders-esque jazz metal and First Fragment’s neoclassical tech-death.
Perfect World Creation is a technically stunning début EP from a gifted young band. The group’s obvious instrumental prowess is tempered by an ever-present sense of melody. The record’s ambition can also be its weakness, however. Given the song lengths, which generally fall between six and nine minutes, the tracks can sometimes lose their impact over their meandering musical endeavors. These long form structures surely allow for some diversity within the tracks; however, listened to in order, the tracks begin to lose their distinctness from one another. Although Dark Matter Secret may not have been able to attain the perfection alluded to in the record’s title, they nonetheless crafted a promising debut of instrumental neoclassical death metal.
Notable Tracks: “Organic Nucleation”
FFO: Blotted Science, First Fragment, early Animals As Leaders