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Track(s) Premiere: Perpetuum Mobile – “I – Perpetuum Mobile”+ “VI – Abyssal Nothing”

I have a thing about records that send me down a series of Internet rabbit holes. In fact, I tend to actively seek them out. Blame it on the fact that I have English degrees – if a bit of research might help me better wrap my head around a band’s lyrical themes or recurring symbols, then I am all about diving in and trying to unravel them. I may not always find the answers I’m looking for, but I generally feel like I have a better grasp on a thing or two afterwards than I did before I started searching.

There are certain records, though, where my research leads to more mysteries than anything else. That’s the case with Perpetuum Mobile‘s Paradoxa Emblemata. It’s not the fact that I have no idea who’s in the band or where they’re from – honestly, I’m pretty used to that at this point. Their inscrutable, grinding blackened metalpunk approach to music? I’m used to discussing music that doesn’t neatly fit into one genre (or two, or three…) as well. It’s not even the band’s name that makes me stumble: a perpetuum mobile is basically just a perpetual motion machine. It’s this whole Paradoxa Emblemata thing…

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together: the Paradoxa Emblemata is a collection of illustrations by Dionysius Andreas Freher, a mid-17th/early 18th century German-born, London-based Christian mystic and alchemist. Inspired at least partly by the writings of another German-born Christian mystic named Jakob Böhme, whose book Aurora was deemed heretical by his local chief pastor, eventually leading to his exile from his home village of Görlitz. Paradoxa Emblemata (the book) is a collection of 153 abstract hieroglyphs  and emblems.

Perpetuum Mobile uses one of those images for the cover of Paradoxa Emblemata (the album). Each of the ten songs on the record uses one or more of Freher’s illustrations as inspiration, and takes it lyrics from the corresponding emblem. We have the pleasure of premiering two of those tracks here today at the Vault: “I – Perpetuum Mobile” and “VI – Abyssal Nothing.” Just shy of two-and-a-half minutes combined, they provide a quick and dirty introduction as to what listeners can expect from the album as a whole: short songs with primitive-sounding riffs, vomitous vocals, and bracingly raw production. I’ll admit that I’m not entirely sure yet how (or even if) the record’s concept and Freher’s works line up beyond the individual(s) behind Perpetuum Mobile using them for lyrical inspiration, but I can guarantee you that I’ll be spending a lot more time with Paradoxa Emblemata in the coming days and weeks, trying to figure it out…

Paradoxa Emblemata will be available on September 21 from our friends at Xenoglossy Productions (preorder here). In the meantime, check out “I – Perpetuum Mobile” and “VI – Abyssal Nothing” below, along with a look at the cassette’s layout.

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