Review Summary: Tactical nuke.
There has always been a niggling lunacy to Perturbator's crystal-clean design. A break in the fold that just begs to be blown open with emphatic panache. Standing as a pinnacle of the retrofuturism epoch that bleeds into normalcy with every passing day, many artists and fans have looked to Perturbator in hopes of understanding where this somewhat exhausted niche could possibly move in the days to come. I couldn't say New Model
is quite the push the electronic cyberpunk sphere needs to keep things crisp; the experimentation on display here is little more than improvements on a solidly established formula. Maybe then, it is the confidence that exudes from New Model
that might cause the public to consider the next logical steps for dark synthwave.
This is Perturbator's most immersing release without a shadow of a doubt. A thick atmosphere peppered with cascading arpeggios and spectral synths lead "A Birth of the New Model" into being. It is utterly delectable. Phantasmal uncertainty drenches every second as the song builds from strength to strength. Adherence to dynamic interplay is pivotal here; New Model
is just as loud as any other release in Perturbator's catalog but not a single track stagnates. The heaviest and softest moments he has ever put to paper can all be found within this 35 minute runtime. There is an air of reverent self-assurance across each of these songs. The opening seconds to "Tainted Empire" are almost overwhelmingly destructive, yet the painstaking attention to finer details within both the strikingly empowering midsection and the deleterious breakdown that closes off the track forcefully prevent any semblance of doubt. Even when time is spent lurking in the thick of juicy despair ("Corrupted by Design" spending a good portion of its length wallowing in murk), each bar points to the next progression. While "Vantablack" seems to be constructed around its vocals (being the only non-instrumental song on the EP), enough emphasis is placed on song evolution that even repeated segments ooze with new features.
I wasn't incredulous to Perturbator's potential as a producer but his level of conviction in closing track "God Complex" is borderline excessive. The fluctuant aura that dictates New model
dominates the song as pummeling fits of electronic noise snap in and out of existence, underpinned by fervent aplomb. Everything moves forward. There is no waiting around. The toe-dipping in other subgenres Perturbator is known for is more evident here than ever and while such tinkering certainly opens up the field for where this sort of music might head next, it is the bold posture and tangible attitude that will leave the largest impact. Carrying the condensed precision and potency of a tactical nuke, New Model
is a rapturous summation of everything Perturbator is. Whether or not he can propel this stature into future releases will dictate the legacy he leaves behind.