is one of those bands that you completely forgot about the first time you hear them. This happened to me when I first gave them a listen. I was bored one day so I started to search for some new music and I wanted something from Scandinavia. As many of you know, Sweden’s metal scene is dominated by death metal, Norway has black metal, Finland has everything and Iceland… do they even have any famous metal bands? Denmark was the only place that I had left. I scrolled through the band names until I came across Panzerchrist
. The band name appeared cool in my opinion so I downloaded Soul Collector
and to my surprise, it had some decent tracks on it but it wasn’t enough to ignite my interest in the band. Years past and I heard Panzerchrist
was coming out with a new album. Their latest album Battalion Beast
absolutely stunned me. The album was immense compared to their previous albums. Sound production, techniques, speed, variety; everything was increased and sharpened tenfold. This is one of the most perfect death/black metal fusions I have ever encountered. Here you have the weight from death metal and the evil atmosphere and melodic elements from black metal. Intense, extreme, technical, ferocious and haunting would be my top 5 words to describe Panzerchrist
is a band that has begun to rise once more, thanks to the their record company that have been promoting them by giving out ''compilation'' albums such as Bello
and the brand new Himmelfartskommando
. They are not compilation albums though; Bello
includes two of their masterpieces (Roomservice and Soul Collector) and Himmelfartskommando
includes 6 Second Kill and Fort Outpost Europa. Battalion Beast
is definitely their biggest moment, even if their other albums possess qualities that this album lacks. It still delivers a brutal punch. The vocals are black metal rasps and these vocals are really raspy I must say. The vocal delivery also showcases some grunting. I don't want to say growls because these grunts are pretty weak in comparison to the vocals in Soul Collector[/i] which are pretty damn guttural. All the guitar riffs are more balanced and varied this time around from their previous album. Nothing gets out of hand, however, sometimes the guitar lines feel a bit stiff in some of the songs but the levels of technique and speed are great. There are lots of haunting tremolo picking sections, heavy chugging low-key guitars, and melodies that the band has incorporated more of this time around. The bass is non-existent as usual. One thing that has been a trademark for this band is their drummer, Reno Kiilerich. I would like to note that he is not a world record holder in drumming with overall
performance. He is a record holder in bass pedal
drumming and the record he holds is 800 pedal strokes under one minute. Anyway, the drumming is also top-notch here. There are loads of pedal work and blast beats, plus some other slower drum styles as well. Panzerchrist's
choice of lyrics are nothing special. Most of the lyrics are based around war and death.
contains both good and bad stuff. The variety and track dynamics have been increased hands down. The Gods They Do Not Give Us Long
and Flame Of The Panzerchrist
displays some of their haunting and catchy moments. War In The North
is a stand out track for many reasons but it doesn't even sound like Panzer material. This song is strictly a melodic black metal track, very atmospheric, cold and melodic. The rest of the tracks are more or less melodic and follow the Panzer formula. Although, most of the tracks here have there own unique qualities that make them memorable. Panzerchrist
has used keyboards from time to time and they use the right amount of keyboards throughout this album especially. War In The North
, Flame Of The Panzerchrist
and Spirits Of Soldiers
demonstrate the use of keys through simple scale progressions and atmosphere. One thing also worth noting is that the melodic sections to each song keep the songs from feeling repetitive throughout. Even if Panzerchrist
are talented musicians, there are still things that will bore the listener. All of the tremolo picked lines and over-use of double bass drumming make the album stiff and hard to endure. In the end most of the tracks become more or less completely uninteresting. All of this depends of course on the listeners taste in music. Overall, most of the bands' material gets kind of stiff after a while. One other negative to the album is the growling. The vocalist sounds like an Orch from the Warcraft series. If he only used the same deep guttural growls like in Soul Collector
, the album would've been even heavier and more brutal. Unfortunately that’s not the case here.
is a band that might not be suited for everybody tastes in music. Fortunately, fans of extreme music will be pleased and should get their hands on this album. Battalion Beast
is full of speed, aggression and memorable melodies. Disappointingly though, the one major downside to Battalion Beast
is that the band tends to make stiff and uninspired songs, despite all of the positives mentioned. Black metal fans as well as death metal fans will most likely enjoy this album. The great thing about this band is that their albums don’t follow the same pattern. Soul Collector
was more like brutal death metal and Roomservice
was a bit more straight forward death metal making Battalion Beast
basically flawless death/black metal, even with its few drawbacks.
+ One of their most melodic albums to date
+ Great variety in songs
+ Great guitar performances
+ The black metal vocals give the album a different sound and atmosphere
- The album will get stiff and boring with time
- The growls should’ve been a bit deeper and more guttural
-- The Gods They Do Not Give Us Long - A very catchy and varied track with haunting melodies, catchy riff lines and an assortment of tempo changes.
-- War In The North - Melodic atmospheric black metal is all I can say about this track.
-- Flame Of The Panzerchrist - Begins with a haunting intro with slow chords, slow drumming and creepy church bells. The track later explodes with tight guitars, grunting and rapid firing pedal work.
The final rating balances between a 3.5/5 and a 4/5 for now.