Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Panikk – Unbearable Conditions

One thrash metal scene that has received little discussion is the one in Slovenia. Alongside Eruption, another relatively new group is Panikk. Their debut record, “Unbearable Conditions”, was first released in 2013, but is seeing a re-release in late 2014 through the always-reliable Xtreem Music. Even before you hear this record, it has already hit most of the thrash clichés. They’ve even misspelled their name with a “K”. So it is no surprise then, that the music follows suit. This is thrash metal in the vein of the more standard Bay Area groups (Exodus, Testament). From the opening riff of “Panic Attack” to the final note of the title track, you are assaulted by a barrage of riffs. Unfortunately most of these riffs tend to be pretty predictable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. One thing Panikk does really well that a lot of other riff-heavy bands could benefit from is switching up the tempos and riff styles. A lot of bands go for extreme speed for 40 minutes without slowing down, whereas Panikk has some heavier riffs that have some groove to them (think of groove as a Vio-lence or Exodus style groove, rather than a Pantera one).

Aside from the riffs, Panikk provide all of the other elements that make thrash great. There are plenty of shredding solos that leave every face melted. In addition, Panikk makes heavy use of gang vocals. They appear all throughout the album, and aren’t just relegated to the choruses of songs. The lead vocals likewise consist primarily of shouting, without too much variation in tone. As you might imagine, the songwriting tends to be pretty similar throughout. After a couple of listens, it becomes clear that “Panic Attack” and “Messiah of Decay” are a cut above the rest of the songs, but after even more listens, it can still be difficult to discern amongst the other tracks. This isn’t a major problem though. It seems songwriting is secondary in most thrash bands, and while that is also the case for Panikk, they thrash hard enough to overlook it for the duration of the record. The band will occasionally throw in something unique, such as the strange melodies on "Away From Reality", but for the most part, expect a solid thrashing force on this record. Ultimately, this album is well worth checking out.

Be sure to check out and like Panikk on Facebook!

"Panic Attack"
"Messiah of Decay"

Final Rating
3.75/5 or 75%. 

Written by Scott

No comments:

Post a Comment