Panphage is the work of one Swede, and on this release, he is telling the folk tale of Grette Asmundsson and alongside the atmospheric mood setting sounds of the sea we have relentless harsh black metal.
At times, it is operatic with its rise and fall on tracks like “Landrensningen” and the vocal delivery is in the punctual statement style of many a black metal release, harking back to the early days.
It is a very competent album, and doesn’t have that ‘solo project‘ feel that some one man bands do. And it delivers well in a familiar way, I can anticipate the breaks, the falls and the rampant burn outs.
The interest in old folk tales in black metal is a very popular well of source material, and really at this rate I am looking out for the tale of me at some point soon, as the well must run dry soon!
Whereas Terra start off delivering something I term ‘easy listening black metal’ in my own head.
It’s rhythm that’s gonna getcha, as Gloria Estefan quite rightly said, and this has a calming effect on me… maybe it’s the saturation of sound that engulfs me, I am sure this will fly in the face of many a BM fan, but I do like it pounding and buzzing away in the background as the wall of sound cushions me.
Terra are from Cambridge UK, and not necessarily taking a folk tale they do however sound very much ‘of the earth’.
Terra offer us two tracks across the 40 minutes whereas Panphage has seven over a similar epoch. This allows Terra to build slowly, experiment within theme and play out emotionally such as the first track “Apotheosis” which includes disorienting swirling guitar parts followed by drum solo leads that naturally progress on from each other in a Bathory-esque way. Track two, “Nadir” is a far harsher relentless full pounder where their earthiness erupts in to full on volcanic power.
This three-piece must be an incredible sight performing this by the sheer power of this sound! I admit, it isn’t as easy listening as I first thought! Blinding!