Final Light is the new collaborative effort between darksynth/synthwave mastermind James Kent a.k.a Perturbator and Johannes Persson of Cult Of Luna’s fame. As one can imagine with these names involved, the music of the project mixes post-metal, electronics, experimental innuendos in a sort of evolution based on the path that Kent has recently undertaken with the last Perturbator album Lustful Sacraments and is other endeavors L’Enfant De La Forêt and Ruin Of Romantics.
The self-titled debut is a 6-track voyage into eerie atmospheres, slow and punishing movements, droning and non-rhythmic guitars, coarse vocals and ominous synth sounds. Some parts have a lot in common with the recent supergroup Absent In Body, but in a less dense fashion and with a lot more room for breathing – even if black air.
Nothing Will Bear Your Name slowly evolves into a marching mantra, starting with shrilling sirens and severe synths and then adding evocative choruses and guitars. The second half sees a climax made of cinematic hard drums and aggressive vocal deliveries, while keeping the monolithic general mood but in the punkish finale. In The Void follows suit thanks to orchestral synths with celestial soundscapes, keeping a crawling peace that grows via sinister guitar-loops and noir synthwave underlines. Things get darker and harder in the second part due to Persson’s screams and distorted kicks.
It Came With The Water offers a somber post-rock atmosphere with nocturnal melodies enhanced by synth melancholics, a perfect territory for the almost growling vocals and the doomish passage that dominate the track, while the Title Track further explores the link between Perturbator more recent escapades in post-punk/darkwave sounds and the post-metal style of Cult Of Luna – all of this filtered by modern electronic soundscapes.
The Fall Of A Giant is maybe the most emotional moment, starting with delicate and minimal sounds and then growing in pathos thanks to majestic guitars and eerie synth sounds. The final part is characterized by a climax involving aggressive vocals, industrial effects and soulful guitar-tones. The last episode Ruin To Decay summarizes the mood of the album and its “quid”: a very long track with slow, droning guitars and pounding rhythms, ready to take speed after the fourth minute via faster drum machines and cymbals.
Final Light is an accomplished and interesting effort with strong atmospheric elements, cinematic soundscapes, slow post-metal guitar drones and synthetic underlines where darkness and beauty collide. One can recognize elements and ideas from the original projects of the two minds involved, especially the cyber-noir taste of Kent and the obvious Cult Of Luna references, but they are matched in a tight-but-not-too-minimal style which allows all the different elements to have their role in the composition.
Release date: June 24th, 2022.
Text by: Davide Pappalardo.