I’m never surprised to find great metal bands in certain parts of the world (after all, we’re in the digital age now), but what does surprise me is just how many bands come out of particular areas. In this case, Canada’s prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, for the non-Canadians out there) seems to provide an endless supply of metal bands, particularly those that lean to the more aggressive side of things. One good example of this is Planet Eater, a death metal band from Saskatchewan. Their first EP is a self-titled release that offers up an energetic series of tracks. Things kick off with the highlight of the EP, “Burn It To The Ground”. As the title suggests, this song absolutely destroys everything in its path. Though it offers many great riffs, what makes this track effective is the sheer catchiness of its title, and how it is easy to sing along to. The rest of the EP doesn’t stand out quite as much, but is nonetheless serviceable.
Planet Eater’s sound draws influence from a variety of death metal (and other) sounds, and it would be unfair to label them as simply a clone of another band. There is a lot of punk on this EP, which is primarily evident in the faster, higher energy sections. At times, this punk influence almost makes it feel more like a deathgrind record, not unlike early Bolt Thrower. Though perhaps not as pummeling as the aforementioned band, Planet Eater still provides plenty of headbanging material, and have a rhythm-heavy approach. Many of Planet Eater’s riffs are a bit more unique rhythmically than straight chugging or alternate picking (though those riffs exist as well).
One of the more interesting aspects of this EP is the vocal performance. It is clear that Planet Eater’s singer has many sides to his voice, but he spends much of his time in a standard death growl. His vocals are not too difficult to understand, and they’re more mid-ranged than ultra-guttural. He also can also lay back on the harshness at times in favour of something closer to a thrash vocal style. Overall, his voice definitely helps make the songs easier to appreciate, as he is clearly quite talented.
“Planet Eater” is an EP that is absolutely worth hearing. If for nothing else, at least check out the madness of the opening track, and then make a decision about whether or not to venture further with this EP. Though it’s hard to argue that Planet Eater brings much new to the table, they don’t need to, as they’ve done a solid job of combining many sounds into one that is their own.
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"Burn It To The Ground"
3.7/5 or 74%.
Written by Scott