Perihelion – Hold (2016)

Hungarian post-metallers Perihelion never cease to amaze me, which can certainly be said with their beautiful new EP release. Although it’s rather short, there’s still enough here to fill the void between their next release and I can honestly say that fans will not be upset with this one. If you don’t know much about Perihelion, they can be compared to Thy Catafalque, Alcest, Vintersorg, Solefald and even Borknagar. The only difference here is that the black metal sections of each would be removed, as well as the scowls. Perihelion give us more a mix of powerful lines and melodies, where choruses aren’t even as necessary as the verses themselves. Anyone can write a hooky chorus, but how many times can you catch someone’s attention with mere set of verses? Frontman Gyula Vasvari challenges that with three strong and entirely memorable songs that wouldn’t have changed my score one bit if they’d been added to Zeng. There’s nothing here that sees the band faltering, and if nothing else, they’re sounding even better. I still can’t tell you what these lyrics are about, but it’s all so wonderfully ethereal that it doesn’t even come as a concern. To think that three men can be capable of such a powerfully emotionally performance is nothing short of amazing. There’s nothing threateningly heavy or even dark to be found on this one, even though I do sense some deep emotional pain within the vocals here. In other words, it’s a performance that you can feel and that’s just not something I can say for a lot of bands. There’s just no one out there like Perihelion. Interestingly, they covered “Sycamore Trees” from Twin Peaks (still kicking myself for not having watched that yet) in English, which I believe is a band first. The fact that Vasvari can sing in English I don’t feel is a real issue, because it’s quite obvious that the performance itself is what’s memorable, and if the Hungarian dialect sees these verses and choral lines much stronger, than I’m all for it. I learned long ago that music doesn’t have to be understandable in order to enjoy it, which is what these gentlemen perform here again. It’s a little short, but I’d be shooting myself in the foot if I didn’t highly recommend it. Like many of these short records, I’d rather have waited to hear these put on a full-length but certainly won’t complain with the performance laden within. This is probably the third time I’ve heard this record, and every time it has been just as captivating. Very few acts are able to move me like Perihelion, so make sure that you pick it up if you’re looking for a real dose of raw passion.

(4 Tracks, 14:00)

9/10

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