Review Summary: Showing the world that change isn't always a good thing.
For a band with such a polished discography, Son of Perdition should have been so much more. Wretched’s 2010 offering, Beyond The Gate, presented the listener with immense songwriting and technical prowess on all instruments, including the vocals, and allowed the band to widen its fan base by shying away from the traditional deathcore sound they established with Exodus of Autonomy. By all means Son of Perdition should have been a large improvement from Beyond the Gate merely from how the songwriting evolved from their past albums. Unfortunately, it missed the mark.
The album opens, like previous albums, with an unorthodox opening that comes in the form of a Baroque sounding choral piece before racing into the melodic technical death metal sound Wretched has perfected. Imminent Growth and Repeat…The End Is Near provide the highlights to the first half of the album with blistering double-bass and blast beats as well as fantastic guitar work. The Stellar Sunset of Evolution parts 1, 2 and 3 are the albums instrumentals, and, along with the instrumentals on Beyond the Gate, are the highlights of the album. Each track displays the best that Wretched have to offer through technicality, strong song writing and fantastic solos.
Perhaps the largest and, most noticeable, difference on the album comes in the form of vocalist Adam Cody and his presence is made known instantly. Whereas ex-vocalist Billy Powers complimented the music and sounded more like another instrument with his guttural lows and high screams, Cody’s powerful vocals almost overtake all other instruments and supplant themselves as the main attraction. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for Wretched’s song writing style. Where Powers vocals flowed well and allowed the other instruments in the band to shine and provide stunning moments in previous albums, Cody’s vocals are overproduced and placed on top of some top notch riffs almost drowning out some of the better moments in Son of Perdition. While Powers perceived lack of presence was always a qualm of mine, Wretched has swung from one end of the spectrum to the other with less than stellar results.
The end result displays a band that is still experimenting with their sound. The technical death metal sound they achieved with Beyond the Gate still remains and easily reaffirms why this band is slowly becoming more relevant in their genre, however songs like Dilated Disappointment and Karma Accomplished show that they still have room to grow and have some definite questions to answer as to where the direction of the band is headed. Fortunately, the band is still experimenting and improving and, with subsequent releases, should achieve a sound meant to appease.