Panzer Metal

Written by: PP on 07/09/2010 17:01:22

I've recently picked up on a couple of releases that were meant to be reviewed by AB because he's taking forever. The best of that bunch is undoubtedly Negator, who have unleashed one hell of a punishing black metal release earlier this year called "Panzer Metal", a brilliant title considering how relentless and all-unforgiving this album is on the listener. If you find yourself sitting in a Russian tank somewhere in the war-torn mountainous region of Chechnya and all hell breaks lose, you better double check someone didn't just decide to spin "Panzer Metal" instead. Although it is essentially 'war music' based on the musical landscapes found across the album, so even if all hell really did break lose, make sure this is resonating in your headphones at the time.

The record dominates its listener using a tight and manic rhythm section drenched in melodic tremolo, featuring significantly more melody than what is usually experienced in the black metal circles. The lead riffs are monster-catchy for the genre, but not at the cost of any brutality nor destructive tendencies. The often parallel to serpentine death metal, but only for brief moments before it's back to tight tremolo resonance for extended periods. The vocals are both great and brutal, offering the standard black metal shriek but with ominous attitude and piercing sound, even leaning towards growling at just the right timings. There's a menacing pace throughout that refuses to let go of the listener before the damage has been done, created with the help of a merciless drummer whose pummeling delivery is some of the best and most original drumming I've experienced in the genre. Yes, this is how black metal is meant to be played, with nods to death metal and brilliant production that leaves every aspect of the sound crystal clear. Those shoebox Norwegian bands just haven't understood that real brutality can be achieved through a cutting edge production as Negators, which still sounds organic enough to avoid sounding mechanical or soulless. Though the latter is debatable, I suppose, considering this IS a black metal band after all.

Once you pop on "Panzer Metal", it's difficult to let go. The riffs are otherworldly at times, constantly reaching into new levels of melody and brutality simultaneously. This is the absolute best part of the album, it knows how to hook in its listener with a sweet sound of lightning speed brutality, but it also deviates from the constant brain-drill tempo into slower, frightening atmospheric pieces like "Scent Of Syrax". Whichever style Negator chooses, it is delivered with the fire and soul of a panzer warrior: relentless, menacing and brutal. Don't miss one of the best black metal releases this year.

Download: Final Avowal, Dignity Of War
For the fans of: Marduk, Dark Funeral, Belphegor
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.05.2010
Remedy Records

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