Death metal trio Perversion is the filthiest of apocalyptic Detroit

The 2022 new Detroit music issue

click to enlarge Perversion. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

What happens when three drunk, longhaired metalheads band together in Detroit's seedy underground? Riffs that are pure aggression. Vocals that conjure and command spirits from the depths of hell. Pummeling drums, and a non-stop assault on your ears. In other words, what happens is Perversion.

Perversion is a death metal band from Detroit that's been creeping around since 2008. And if you don't know what death metal is, then just stop reading now, because this ain't for you.

In their 14 years of existence, Perversion has gone from rehearsing in a dank Detroit basement to playing with Peruvian death metal legends Mortem and Pentagram Chile. This spring, the band is releasing its second full-length album, Dies Irae, on Hell's Headbangers.

Of course, Hell's Headbangers is releasing it — they're arguably one of the biggest and most recognizable metal labels in the country. Their slogan is "when you need metal, go to hell." Turns out hell is actually in Ohio (that's where the Hell's Headbangers operation is).

Dies Irae comes nine years after Pervesion's first full-length, Storm of Evil, which seemed to pay closer homage to the band's South American death metal influences. (Vocalist Fernando Conde is originally from Venezuela.)

But this new album has morphed into something even more sinister. The opening track, a 43-second segment of the instrumental "Dies Irae" by composer Giuseppe Verdi, is a dramatic symphony of impending violence. Seven original tracks follow with ferocious riffs, frenzied guitar solos, and downright nasty vocals that sound like the singer has a mouth full of blood and worms. Finally, it winds down with a cover of Bathory's "Possessed."

It's a conglomeration of interdimensional chaos with nods to bestial black metal, German thrash, and a little 1980s grindcore. The teaser track for the album, "Axioms of Domination," sounds like the theme song for a demon spawn returning to hell through a portal that opened in the earth's crust.

"Perversion has always had an orthodox and purist ideology in regards to how black and death metal are meant to sound," Conde says, adding, "Our principles and convictions have remained unchanged through the years. We have forged an alliance with Hell's Headbangers to release our second full-length, which is definitely not for people looking for refined, modern-sounding music, but for fanatics of barbaric and punishing cacophony."

While most fans probably know Perversion as Conde on vocals and guitar, Al Hoover on bass, and Pete Gibbs on drums, the original lineup was a bit different. When they first formed back in 2008, James Haley was on drums and Neil Spencer was on vocals. Haley split in the summer of 2009 after the band's "Metal Is Death" demo and a slew of gigs in Detroit, Lansing, and Cleveland. Later, Gibbs joined on drums and the band released a split 7-inch with fellow Detroit rockers Anguish. Soon after, Spencer parted ways and Conde took on both vocal and guitar duties.

This three-piece lineup of Conde, Hoover, and Gibbs is when things started to get good. They released a couple of demos before "Storm of Evil," but the one you really need to know is F.O.A.D — Filthiest of Apocalyptic Detroit. This 2012 four-way split embodies a golden era in Detroit metal that will probably never be replicated. It features two tracks each from Perversion, Reaper, Anguish, and Shitfucker, and was released by Detroit-based label Bitchy Witch (now Sangreal Records). Good luck finding it, because it's long been sold out.

Despite a rise in notoriety and playing numerous shows across the U.S. and South America, however, Perversion remains underground, where metal belongs. Hail.

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About The Author

Randiah Camille Green

After living in Japan and traveling across Asia, Randiah Camille Green realized Detroit will always be home. And when she says Detroit, she's talking about the hood, not the suburbs. She has bylines in Planet Detroit News , Bridge Detroit , BLAC magazine, and Model D .Her favorite pastimes are meditating on...
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