Quick to follow up their 2009 EP release \”Ceremonies Of Sorrow Begin\” Portland, Oregon\’s black metal assault return triumphant with their new full length of hatred and despair aptly titled \”Forged In Grief\”.
\”Forged In Grief\” comes blasting out of the gate with frantic and schizophrenic album opener \”Forgotten Relics Of A Lost Hope\”. Tremolo-picked minor chords and double-kick/blastbeat heavy rhythms give a proper nod to the forefathers of second wave Scandinavian black metal. Vocalist Lord Andross incorporates a low guttural approach, soaked in reverb his vocals at times come across as more of an omni-present added layer of dark atmosphere than merely a guy in corpse paint with a knack for catchy phrasing. It\’s that kind of attention to detail in your craft that is needed to stand out in the USBM scene, that by default is forever paralleled to bands of Norse ancestry. \”You Are All My Slaves\” offers up a healthy dose of tyrannical dominance, recalling at times early to mid era Gorgoroth in terms of chaotic textures and feel. \”Valskogen\” conjures imagery of a death march, with it\’s anthemic mid-paced gallop, where as \”Ceremonies Of Sorrow Begin\” which has become something of a live staple for the band has never sounded better than this version on \”Forged In Grief\”. The tandem of Goatlord and frontman Lord Andross manage to keep their playing in unison, intricate yet very raw.
Summing up the overall production value on \”Forged In Grief\” it would be important to note that while retaining the same hallmarks of BM production that their Scandinavian counterparts employ, this is by far the best sounding release afforded to Panzergod thus far. The shadowy cover art depicting a vulture feasting on rotting carrion accompanies the music well enough, yet a single panel inlay leaves a bit to be desired. Hopefully a label with a considerable budget will put this out with complete lyrics, period band photos etc. All in all, a very solid release.
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