Punk, Punk Rock

Perkele – Leaders of Tomorrow (Review)

Band: Perkele
Album: Leaders of Tomorrow
Genre: Oi! Punk – Punk Rock
Country: Sweden
Release date: 18th of January
Released via Spirit of the Stree
Cover artwork © Spirit of the Streets Records 2019

Have you ever been absolutely furious about your politics? I have – consistently. During times when Donald Trump serves as president of the United States of America, there are many possibilities to show disapproval about your government. This is also why Slayer Perkele from Sweden postulate that there is a need for a new future parliament, which is why their latest album goes by the name of Leaders of Tomorrow. This marks their eighth studio album after A Way Out in 2013. The trio has remained the same for about 6 years now after having introduced their new drummer John Sandberg and released their newest album on the 18th of January.

This review could be said to not fit into the idea of “TRANSCEND”, since I have known the band for years already. The last time I heard Perkele, though, was on their release Perkele Forever in 2010. I’ve seen them live once on “The Ride” in Oberhausen and enjoyed their show. Their release from 2010, though, remained in mind a little too over-dramatical with the epic framework. The last release I fully enjoyed was their Confront from 2005. This was then to change this year, when the latest release came out.

The first track of the album, “Winner,” directly jumps into the regular Perkele sound we all know and love. Clear and crunchy guitars, decent drums and vocalist Ron Halinojas distinctive vocals that form every chorus into an anthem. It only takes a minute to recognize that Perkele are still able to play decent Punk Rock. Halfway through the song, however, we are faced with a major change. After a few minutes of again falling in love with ‘that’ Perkele sound, the guitar kicks in with a break that lets the heart of every 80s thrash metal fan jump high. Between the original punky sound of the band, a bold thrash riff is squeezed in to polish the entire song and briefly introduce Perkeles new love for thrash metal riffs. These thrash riffs continously pop up in every other recognizable song on the album. The next track “Negative to Positive” also includes a sweet thrash part that perfectly connects to the chord-based sound of the album. Perkele succeeds to introduce their fresh thrashy element into the album while not at all letting loose of their punk sound.

Additionally, tracks like “Break Out or Break Free” include a bluesy intro riff that later on also connects with a thrashy riff. Those connections will get your heart jump high – when that bluesy intro kicked in my heart skipped a beat [yes – the reference is intended]. The title track “Leaders of Tomorrow” eventually even kicks off with a thrash intro, showing you that Perkele is not just messing with short Slayer-esque episodes. The track “When You Realize” also plays with a guitar production that leaves the crunchy punk sound and reminds more of an 80s metal production – still holding a tight grip on their punk elements.

With their fifth track “Miss U”, Perkele broadens the scope of the entire album and also adds a more melancholic side to their music. Similar to their ninth track “Mistakes”, which also opens up a more nostalgic view on their music. Especially when listening to Ron recollecting stories of his past, one or another tear drops from your nostalgic eye. In combination with the acoustic guitar sound, these songs enrich the atmosphere of the entire album.

No matter if thrashy elements, cleaner guitar sounds or fast punk riffs, the entire album consistently feels like Perkele. Each song still has the distinguishing and easy-to-remember chorus that lets you sing along after having heard the song once already. The on-point production of guitar as well as drums that harmonize so well highlight the overall capability of playing at high level. Especially Ron shines drastically on his guitar when thrash riffs turn into fast solos and back into fast punk riffs, seeming to be no difficulty at all for him. All put together, there are old elements we love, new elements that add a fresh feeling and an overall pretty decent album.

★★★★★★★★(!)☆☆

strong 8 / 10

How about them hardline Oi-Punk fans? Are you d’accord with the spicy thrash elements Perkele now dived into ? Is there any element I have not seen / menioned in this review? Tell me in the comments!

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