There’s a few things that drew me to the album of Permanent Solution. For one, their label Misantropia Records generally releases good, often Kalmankantaja related, Finnish Black Metal. The tracklist of ‘Permanent Solution’, where every song title is a few digits such as ‘2-312’ or ‘5-168’, appears to hold a code language that I’m not smart enough to crack yet fascinates me. And then there’s the notion that the label calls this the band’s debut album, even though a record called ‘Before Silence’ appears to precede it. Anyway, enough with my confusion, time to dig into the actual album.
After some blips on the radar the record starts off proper with ‘2-312’ (disclaimer: the Youtube link did not have timestamps so forgive me if I mess up some track titles) which introduces a calm atmospheric Black Metal strumming that is one of the key components of the sound of the band. With a heavy, almost chugging guitar chord sound, the second large part of the sound of Permanent Solution is one closer to Doom Metal, which is both reflected in the heavier chord sections, but also to some extent in the calmer clean strumming. As for instance with Voidwind or the Kalmankantaja album ‘Second Death’, there is also a dose of old Katatonia found on ‘Permanent Solution’, but in this case much more subtly. In a track like ‘1-231’ there is a section with loud bass, cymbals and snarling vocals over a backdrop of floating keyboards or guitar notes, giving it an almost Industrial approach, something that also comes back the more mechanic and heavy rhythmic chugging chords. Combining all the sounds together makes for an at time heavy and intense, at other times more melancholic and depressive flavor of Atmospheric Blackened Doom Metal. The music can be rather minimal, although the alternation of heavier sections and more atmospheric development in a song like ‘3-321’ works rather well. In general though I think the chugging sound of the guitar and shrillness of the cymbals is at times a bit too much of a contrast with the more floating clean strumming sections, but perhaps this was exactly the intention of the band to place the parallel between the otherworldly atmosphere and a more mechanic identity all along. Either way, the music has some alienating quality which is certainly noteworthy.
As a whole, 48 minutes of this is probably a little bit too much for me. The riffs are a little bit too repetitive and the formula a tad too mechanic for me to grasp my attention all the way through. That is not to say there aren’t some good riffs and spheric moments to be found on ‘Permanent Solution’. In particular in songs like ‘7-1711’ or the more straightforward uptempo Black Metal of ‘4-316’ are worth checking out, and people looking for their kick of atmospheric Black Metal with Doom tendencies should have a listen and consider to support the band and label.