Panzerfaust – The Suns of Perdition – Chapter III: The Astral Drain

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Canadian black metal innovators Panzerfaust takes their craft to the edifice of modern black metal. Their 6th album entitled'“The Suns of Perdition - Chapter III: The Astral Drain' is an evolution in which the quartet reveals new sonic traits. Even though Panzerfaust explores multilayered musical landscapes, the atmospheric effects of the guitars are attained in a similar method to the previous album 'The Suns of Perdition - Chapter II: Render Unto Eden'. Throughout the album, Panzerfaust offers opulent, spectacular moments in which the guitar work and the song arrangements blend extraordinary musicianship.

In a most remarkable form the 10 minutes opener ‘Death-Drive Projections’ sets a gloomy mood for the album, where plenty of epic melodies and guitar hooks take us on a journey. With its spine-chilling atmospheric textures delivering you across the vast landscapes, the guitars maintain a polyphonic balance with the superb drum fills. The instrumentation is seamlessly on the peak and beautifully embedded to create desolate picturesque, dim guitar effects as heavy drum patterns march through endless moments. The atmosphere is draped in polyphonic textures fitted to create pitch-black darkness. The vocals are thrilling with the unsettling, erupting chaos.

A brief interlude ‘The Fear (Interlude)’ follows in when the rhythm section lays the foundation for the following song ‘B22: The Hive and the Hole’. An unearthly growl echoes through blazing guitar riffs providing an eerie sensation, while the guitars are arranged in a certain way to enhance the ominous atmosphere. Massive drum beats unleash a cacophony of bellows, the bass guitar meld with the guitars while the tribal chanting stimulates a ritualistic carnival of sacrifice.

The interludes on the album are spine-chilling and bleak: they create a certain mood for the listener to traverse further into the void. There are lots of natural elements like the sounds of the rain that generates spooky passages. Despite the brevity of interludes such as ‘The Pain (Interlude)’ the musical tones ascend quickly. This somehow allows for a breakdown, but once the drums kick in, the guitars immediately demonstrate the depth and the breadth and become laden with hooks.

The ambient ritualistic opening of ‘Bonfire of the Insanities’ emphasizes the dark gloomy rhythm, every aspect of this ritualistic track is imbued with a sense of menace. There’s so much quality in the drumming work even when the tracks feel sluggish the drums change the pace but it perfectly maintains an ambient and ritualistic mood. The shifts toward a fierce tempo somehow build slowly, ‘The Suns of Perdition – Chapter III: The Astral Drain’ display a flamboyant idiom that is created in Panzerfaust’s own musical vision. However, there are some elements that will remind you of Mgla, Deathspell Omega and Kriegsmaschine.

The instrumental transitions have a unique quality that’s infectious. ‘The Far Bank at the River Styx’ begins with eerie guitars. The centerpiece of this track is the drumming that booms in full fierce mood. With double bass, demonic shrills and bass guitar held by the rhythm guitars, Panzerfaust’s fast tempos have a superb phrasing sense. The thick density of the guitars is packed in a mysterious atmosphere while the drums and omnipresent and bouncy.

The Suns Of Perdition Chapter III: The Astral Drain’ captures the modern methods of experimental black metal. The 6th album weaves cinematic landscapes and truly manifests the beauty of creating a piece of immersing music. Panzerfaust has grown into a band that fully understands how to compose cinematic passages, although the album is mainly based on the blueprint of its predecessor, there’s great fusion in how to combine rhythm and lead guitar.

Enantiodromia (Interlude)’ is entirely composed of intense drumming offering tribal beats and a menacing wall of sounds. Brooding dark guitars become the opening piece for the final track ‘Tabula Rasa’ which maintains the same rhythm. Spine-tingling guitars boom like a sonic blast whereas the vocals come as dark and menacing with cascading rhythm outshining the intense drumming work. Powerful vocal eruptions muddle with the dark somber melodies. There’s a great depth in the atmosphere overall. The bass guitar oscillates back and forth like a pendulum, giving the song a haunting and menacing vibe with the obscure display of instruments and billowing tremolos that cuts deep like a knife!

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10
9

‘The Suns Of Perdition Chapter III: The Astral Drain’ ingeniously defines Panzerfaust’s approach to black metal music. The music flows relatively smoothly in such an epic manner while keeping you fully amused for 48 minutes.

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