Canadian Black Metal quartet Panzerfaust return with their fourth studio full length “The Suns of Perdition, Chapter I: War, Horrid War“, the first of an ambitious four part ‘tetralogy’ describing it as; ‘”vicious and abrasive ride straight to the pits of inhumanity. This first chapter examines the malign episodes of this century past, shining a light on the difficult subject matter through a begrimed philosophical lens. The resulting synthesis is what George Orwell once described as [a vision of the future] a boot stamping on a human face forever.”
Just to clarify a few facts from the offset, to their misinformed critics; “Their lyrics, are about historical events and ideas that are often viewed as anathema. This should not be confused with the endorsement of any such views. Accusations of far-right or neo-fascist sympathies will not be tolerated. Panzerfaust is not a political band and only deals with politics insofar as they relate to the events of the songs in question. Extremism alike, theocratic or otherwise are our sworn enemies. Panzerfaust stands for the free expression for all people. Full stop” but the clue is in the title…..for anyone with a modicum of common sense!
Now that’s clarified we’ll get onto the album itself “The Suns of Perdition, Chapter I: War, Horrid War” is a five track, thirty-one minute caustic and complex offering that is as fascinatingly engaging as it is brutal, and it couldn’t open any more powerfully if it tried. “The Day After ‘Trinity” begins on a searing build of strings, a bellowing acidic roar followed by some superbly complex repeat riffs, brutal vocal delivery, pummelling drum onslaught and bass lines that I can only describe as ‘sexy’. They are round and bouncy, adding a subtle underlying groove which binds the caustic elements together perfectly giving superb balance to this unique sound.
“Stalingrad, Massengrab” begins with a heavy drum battery and sound-bites of military aircraft open this percussion dominated track, with an addictive lyrical repeat delivered by acidic but clear vocals, and a complex set of repeat riffs that are on the edge of technical and more bouncy bass. It’s an aural onslaught of a track but so mesmerising and engaging.
“Crimes Against Humanity“, a bleak haunting mix of sound-bites and hypnotic minimalist guitar work form this thought provoking instrumental.
“The Decapitator’s Prayer“, self explanatory in the title, clarified in the opening mix of sound-bites with pummelling drum and building riff work which expands out into the main body of the track that goes on to be a technically excellent, blackened offering, embellished with a twin layer of complimentary caustic vocals.
Finally, “The Men of No Man’s Land“, an epic offering of thirteen minutes duration, so strap yourself down for this beauty. It’s a powerful builder of a track leading you in with hypnotic drumbeats and guitar work, then BANG! It’s upon you. Oppressively powerful and crushing, acidic vocals tear through your very being, and in amongst all this is an underlying guitar repeat that is, surprisingly, serenely haunting. Across it’s duration this track ebbs and flows in power and intensity, loosening its grip on you but not quite letting go, it’s both brutal and beautiful.
“The Suns of Perdition, Chapter I: War, Horrid War” is such a superb and complex release, I doubt you’ll absorb everything until you’ve given it at least half a dozen listens and subsequent listens will be more rewarding than the previous. Each track is so individual yet tied by a commonality of style and content, and is out now on Eisenwald and available as CD / DLP / Digital via Code7/Plastic Head (UK, IE + World), Sound Pollution (Scandinavia + World), Soulfood (Germany), Season of Mist (France), Audioglobe (Italy), and Amped/Alliance & Eisenwald (North America)
Rating – 5/5
Experience the horror of war.