Band: PeroPero | Album: Massive Tales of Doom | Genre: Progressive metal | Year: 2023
From: Berlin, Germany | Label: Panta R&E
For fans of: Dream Theater, Haken, Devin Townsend
PeroPero is a Berlin-based progressive metal duo of Austrian origin. It’s been six years since their last release, 2017’s Lizards. Massive Tales of Doom hews rather close to PeroPero’s typical sound. The vocals are idiosyncratic and dramatic, and the songs are full of wild and twisting riffs.
Massive Tales of Doom opens on the pummeling, slightly-askew guitar lines of “Vermin”. The drumming is exciting and energetic without being overbearing. The vocals are dramatic and are perhaps the most distinctive part of the band, overall. It’s unorthodox but it works excellently. The song alternates between expansive, doom-influenced walls of guitar and twisting, irregular scalar runs. Growling stabs of synthesized bass add an effective counterbalance during the song’s more ascendent moments.
“Luminosities” opens with an eerie synth drone, but that’s soon topped with a lurching doom riff. The timing of the guitar parts always feels a bit off, but also enticing. This metrical fuckery is one of the band’s greatest strengths. In the song’s midsection, multiple tumbling instrumental parts compete with each other, to truly disorienting effect. As the vocals reemerge in the song’s second half, this cut begins to feel a bit overlong, but it’s still rooted in strong ideas.
The next song, “Event Horizon”, has a more immediately impactful opening. The verse has a weird, wobbly, woozy, bluesy feel, which contrasts wonderfully against the urgent and reemergent opening riff. In the song’s final minute, everything comes together in a great synthesis of those two main ideas.
Powerful, palm-muted riffs kick off “The Rip”. There’s an anxious, restrained energy in the guitars which counterbalances the dramatic vocals. The chorus, in contrast, is lush and bursting with glimmering synth pads.
Irregular, sequenced synth beeps and bloops kick off the introduction to “Moira”. More layers come in, alongside some muffled electronic percussion. It grows statickier and more distorted before suddenly bursting into a pummeling, halting riff. This track is very strongly reminiscent of Haken, with its speedy scalar guitar runs and crashing drums. This tune also features the album’s flashiest, most technical playing.
Massive Tales of Doom ends with “Kensor”. PeroPero sound more like themselves here, with the vocals again taking center stage. The riffs are complex and weird, but there’s a sense of purpose to them. The chorus has a demonic, ritualistic feel to it, and this really feels like a tale of doom. There’s a sense of over-the-top magnificence that feels ever-so-slightly-cheesy, but in a satisfying way.
PeroPero’s new album is a pretty solid release. Their sound is, for the most part, pretty unique, aided in particular by their vocalist. The music is full of oddball riffs that gel together quite nicely, and the songwriting is always intelligent and usually quite focused.