posted on 9/2006 By:
Because sometimes I need a break from Christian metalcore....Panzerchrist is the prefect remedy...
Bludgeoning, brutal, blistering and blackened, Battalion Beast, the fifth album from one of Denmark’s more consistent and underrated bands, is an exercise in no nonsense death metal savagery that chars, pummels and devastates with the precision of a Howitzer strike.
With a very slight black metal undercurrent (screeched vocals, some synths here and there, and some late era Immortal styled rifffage), Panzerchrist blaze their way through nine tracks of war-themed savagery that’s pretty much perfectly written, rendered and played for the genre. Battalion Beast runs the expected gamut of blackened blasting fury (“The Lean Black Cruisers”, “The Gods They Do Not Give Us Long, “He Is Dead Who Will Not Fight”, “Lumps of Rotting Clay”), and then shifting to more tempered territory for “Infant’s Graves” (the album’s weakest track in my opinion) and the black metal structured “War in the North” and of course, a few slower lumbering tracks (“Flame of The Panzerchrist”, the epic “The Spirit of Soldiers”). They are all lightly sprinkled with atmospheric synths and appropriately placed war movie samples.
The dual vocals of Bo Summer consisting of a Barney Greenway (circa Benediction and Harmony Corruption) styled roar and typical black metal rasps are serviceable but it’s the drumming of Reno Kiilerich (isn’t he like the world’s fastest drummer or something?) steals the show with a deadly barrage of percussive pain.
There’s a slightly tangible Sinister/ Houwitser feel to the death metal aspects of the material, maybe due to the geography involved but when flocked with the black metal atmospheres, Battalion Beast shares some traits with one of this year's other fine black/death releases Torchbearer’s Warnaments in that it combines black and death metal in one tight package of well written and vitriolic songs.
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