Miles to Perdition – 2084 Review

Miles to Perdition - 2084 01How many albums have we had concerning 1984? Orwell’s dystopia remains an ever-popular subject for musicification, to the point where it’s barely more than a cliche, despite Huxley’s Brave New World looming as a more apt comparison for our current day and age. Miles to Perdition agree that 1984 is an old hat at this point, so they have decided to push for an adaptation that really brings something new to the table. They have updated the novel to something more befitting the changes in our own culture since its publication, with… 2084. Okay, maybe the concept isn’t going to blow anyone’s minds on this one. If the music is good, I’ll forgive them.

Miles to Perdition hail from the tiny European country of Luxembourg, yet they draw predominantly from the well of American melodic death metal. With its light dusting of metalcore over aggressive high-speed riffing, 2084 hews closely to The Black Dahlia Murder. A sizeable point of comparison is the dual vocal style, with dryly crackling growls that recall Genus Ordinis Dei and a diseased, gasping screech that takes a moment of acclimatization to fully appreciate. The two styles facilitate the dystopian narrative through a balanced mixture of techniques and frequent harmonization. The band elicits further discomfort by the occasional use of dissonance in the riffs, a fitting effect considering the subject matter. Otherwise, the music is a simple but solid example of the American melodeath style: sharp riffs, pummeling drums and unbridled fury caught in harmonic melodies.

This all sounds rather terrific, and it largely is. But some minor issues keep me from enjoying the album to the fullest, hard to pinpoint as they are. Despite the excellent abrasion of the vocals, their dynamic lacks a little, as they are always turned up to 11, particularly the screams. The few electronic elements don’t mesh perfectly well with the music and are mostly used in the intro and the penultimate track which functions as the intro to the 13-minute closer “Doom.” Speaking of which, this is not really the type of metal that lends itself to 13-minute epics, and “Doom” does suffer from repetition to the point where I think it would be more effective at half the runtime.

Miles to Perdition - 2084 02

The production is a definite plus, though. The mastering is clear, open and easy on the ears. The guitars sound razor-sharp, the drums rich and vibrant. The bass trumps them both, though, as every individual note of its chrome rambling comes through with perfect clarity. It brings depth to the music and rewards multiple spins as we change focus from layer to layer. I would only have enjoyed the mixing more if the vocals weren’t this overly prominent. As they are, they seem to sit on the music rather than blend into it, costing 2084 some points in unity.

It has taken me forever to come to any sort of conclusion regarding this album. It has few obvious flaws and a strong showing from the vocal and bass departments particularly. The occasional dissonance and the sheer caustic quality of the vocals, along with the cyberpunk Orwell concept, go a long way to giving Miles to Perdition their own face. Some minor quibbles did and still do bother me to the point where I’m not quite as convinced about this album’s success. However, that is not enough reason for 2084 not to wind up on top. It’s not a total knockout, but for a fanciful faceful of neon tear gas, Miles to Perdition is your band.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: January 31st, 2020

« »