Panzerchrist: The 7th Offensive

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Panzerchrist: The 7th Offensive
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Panzerchrist: The 7th Offensive
Black Metal, Death Metal
Listenable Records
August 13th, 2013
Release length: 40:39
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Since their debut album, 1996’s Six Seconds Kill, Panzerchrist have proven themselves time and time again to be a formidable force in the Black/Death Metal field that should never be taken lightly. Eleven albums later, the Aarhus, Denmark act is still stronger than ever. It’s been twenty years since the group first formed, and they are about to unleash their twelfth full-length effort, The 7th Offensive, which comes two years after their most recent effort, Regiment Ragnarok. But, has this beast still got that fiery tenacity, or, after all this time, is this effort an anniversary that shows the years of wear and tear starting to set in?

There really isn’t that much to bag about with The 7th Offensive, sadly. The best tracks are the ones that are either really technical, or focus on setting a certain emotional tone, both of which are few and far apart. “In the Name of Massacration” is a violent assault laced with punishing blast beats from the drums, and catchy riffs with a good deal of complexity that has a slight hit of a middle eastern atmosphere to them. This actually starts off a bit on the tame side, relying on a solid groove to grab the listener before it all quickly resembles a glorious march to war, and absolutely chaos once the first shot is declared. It’s a stunningly brutal cut that will leave the listener quivering on the ground by the time its done with him or her. There’s also the atmosphere-heavy songs, such as “Mass Attack of the Lycantrope Legion.” The main verses have some solid melodic hooks that incorporate a hint of epic Viking-esque melancholy, and plenty of superb guitar solos that suit the slower pace.

Other than those, The 7th Offensives is a rather blunt album with more of a Death Metal production quality to it. Everything sounds thick with tight, crisp drumming and deeper guitar distortion. “The 7th Offensive” has a solid performance behind it with catchy music that starts off a bit rough, especially with the rather flat gutturals that make up much of the album, but picks up as you continue, relying heavily on the bass guitar at times. “Kill for Revenge” finds the bass having an important role once more, but the sharper guitar distortion and more enthusiastic vocals against slower, less complicated riffs will easily hook you, banging your head along for you. Finally there’s “Dogger Dead,” a relatively short trip into madness. Most of it finds simple guitar riffs at a frantic pace, throwing some heavy distortion on after the well executed guitar solo. The drums, however, can sound a bit robotic at times. In a way, the song is this band’s “Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog,” and while it’s nothing too impressive, it’s effective enough to make you want to hear it a few more times, especially when compared to some of the typical to bland tracks that litter the album.

“Foreign Fields” kicks off with a strong guitar solo, but after that caves to some pretty typical Death Metal riffs that simply don’t stick out. They are catchy enough to bob your head along to, and in the end this one feels like it is far better suited to being a live song, using what dominating presence the performance has to command the crowd more than it works out as a studio track. There’s also some vocal distortions when the pace drops dramatically, which just sounds cheesy way to throw some additional direction to something that doesn’t really go anywhere. “Stronhold of Hill 666” is a decent track, but the odd effect on the guitars at times just ends up annoying, and, sadly, the guitar solo sounds boring against some catchy yet mediocre riffs. “Napalm Alarm” starts with a real sense of urgency that will tense up the listener, but not long after that goes into some generic blackened riffs that lack any sort of enthusiasm until the final guitar solo.

As far as Panzerchrist albums go, The 7th Offensive is easily one of the most bland of their discography. Much of the album relies on mid-paced to slowly played generic riffs, and often sounds like the band is band is just bored. Other than some enthusiasm in the guitar solos, some spots with stronger gutturals, and a good deal of solid drum performances, there are a few kick ass tracks any Panzerchrist fan will simply eat up. It’s the likes of “In the Name of Massacration” and “The 7th Offensive” that do manage to salvage this from being an overall mediocre effort. If you plan to pick this one up, tread lightly, especially if you’re strapped for cash. The 7th Offensive isn’t day one purchase material, but is worth a couple bucks if you find the album on sale somewhere.

01. The 7th Offensive – 5:00
02. Foreign Fields – 3:46
03. In the Name of Massacration – 5:04
04. Stronghold of Hill 666 – 4:05
05. Dogger Dead – 1:47
06. Mass Attack of the Lychantrope Legion – 4:14
07. Kill for Revenge – 6:48
08. Drone Killing – 4:08
09. Napalm Alarm – 3:47
10. Pig Parade – 2:02
Initial Pressing Score: 5/10

Panzerchrist (band)
Panzerchrist

Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records via Clawhammer PR.