METAL INQUISITOR - Panopticon
March 6, 2019, 2 months ago
Celebrating two decades, these traditional minded Germans remain virtually unknown, outside their homeland. Shame, but the retro/trad metal resurgence might finally shine some light. Slightly more over-the-top Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors) style vocals, there’s nine old school head rattlers on this, their fifth album (all since '02). The riffing on (personal favorite) “War Of The Priests” has a real NWOBHM undercurrent, sort of a sped up “Breadfan”. Speaking of old school sounds, check out energetic “Change Of Fronts”. Does it recall Saxon (circa debut) meets fledgling DiAnno era Iron Maiden? As if that weren't enough, how about titling a tune “Shock Tactics, one of the venerable releases (Samson) in early ‘80s UK! “Beyond Nightmares” revs a little faster, without any loss of infectiousness. Tasty twin leads mid-way through, too. Speedy, proto-thrash guitars on “Trial By Combat” up the ante once again. The most polished (in terms of construction) number is mid-paced galloping “Re-Sworn The Oath”. Disc concludes with “Discipline And Punish”, a slightly different tone. Probably the “more modern” sentiment the accompanying literature referenced. Completely crossing the line, into thrash territory (albeit well played), for continuity sake, a wise move leaving it till the end.
While not a band for everyone, definitely aimed at the old fogies who decry “they don't make music like they used to” and youngsters eager to discover what yesteryear sounded like.