The Power Metal Legacy
From the Beginning to the End is my kind of power metal. It's original, it's enjoyable, it's captivating, and (most of all) you won't find these traits hidden under thick layers of Velveeta cheese. Although firmly rooted in the European power metal scene, Pertness frequently deviates from the genre's mold, resulting in a strikingly original piece of power metal. This Swiss band clearly takes influence from the icy mountains and traditional folk music of their homeland, while their near-18 year experience further adds to their refined sound. Pertness is a band I've discovered only recently, but I can confidently put From the Beginning to the End among the best power metal releases of 2010. People who like the genre, but can pass on the excess layers of cheese, are advised to check this one out.
As previously mentioned, Pertness plays a style of power metal with heavy folk leanings. "Foggy Dew" is a popular Celtic folk song, which the band successfully metal-izes with positive results. Many of the other tracks draw from Celtic folk influences, and that's really what gives this band so much of their charm. The raw vocal delivery from Tom Schluchter also stands out to me. His voice takes some getting used to, but it's ultimately one of the best things about this album - I just love his rough, masculine tone. Don't expect any falsettos from him on this album. Chris Gutknecht's drumming is also a shining asset here. He has a powerful, commanding style with an impressive amount of complexity. My only real issue here is related to the production. Although I'd surely take this raw sound over many other contemporary power metal productions, the sound of the drums is really weak. They're too high in the mix for my tastes, and the snare drum can get tedious at times. Production doesn't usually affect my listening experience too much, though, and that surely applies here.
From the Beginning to the End has just about everything you could ask for from a power metal album. It's original, impressive, and undoubtedly fun to listen to. Despite my few nitpicky complaints, this is a stellar release that fans of power metal don't want to miss out on. For Pertness' excellent second full-length, 4 stars are well-deserved. If you're not allergic to some folk influences in your power metal, this is an album for you! Recommended!