lunedì 3 aprile 2017

Panikk - "Discarded Existence" (Xtreem Music, 2017)

Band: Panikk
Title: Discarded Existence
Genre: Thrash Metal
Time: 40 min
Year: 15th March 2017
Rating: 70/100

Panikk are back! I knew this Slovenian thrash metal band at the time of its first album titled "Unbearable Conditions" released in 2013, when these 4 angry guys were still into the roster of the now defunct compatriot label Metal Tank Records, which sent to me the aforementioned album to review it. Now, the things are a bit changed for Panikk: in fact, they have a new drummer (Ĉrt Valentić) and a new lead guitarist (Jaka Ĉrešnar) while, after many efforts, they have also a good international reputation especially since they played at the Slovenian 2015 MetalDays Festival to open for a band like Behemoth. Hence, now strong of a deal with the powerful Spanish label Xtreem Music (which reissued "Unbearable Conditions" on 2014), here you are Panikk with their sophomore album titled "Discarded Existence" with which they have added some new features to their sound.

Don't worry men, this band plays fundamentally the same Bay Area thrash metal, strongly influenced by bands like Evildead, Exodus and Vio-lence, of the debut album. More specifically, it's a thrash metal characterized by long tracks with a bunch of tempo changes, profound socio-political themes, a nervous riffing and the vocals of the guitarist Gapa (the main composer of the band) which still remind to me Phil Flores of Evildead with his enough clean but aggressive style with the addition of occasional gang choruses as the US tradition of this genre wants. All this is expressed through very complex numbers like the opening track "Instigator of War" (the longer one of the entire album since its 6 minutes of lenght). But, for the moment, I said nothing new about the sound of Panikk.

What it's new is that these guys have increased their own aggressiveness. In fact, I think that the new entry Ĉrt Valentić has been fundamental because, in line with the thrash metal todays' drummers, he have introduced some blast-beats into the assault of Panikk starting from the third track ""Under Pretence". As a result of this, you can find even some  very rare death metal riffs like in the same "Under Pretence" and "Reconstruction". This means that Panikk have widened their own musical borders also because there are occasional and very short guitar parts unusual for a production of this kind (as in "Instigator of War").
Among the tracks that I appreciated better, there is firstly "Under Pretence" with its scenarios of destruction and slaughter of innocents emphasized greatly through a short spoken part with wicked giggling. Secondly, I have to mention absolutely "Rotten Cells", a real calling to arms against the current capitalistic society made to enslave the people, containing an acoustic intro but also a very furious thrashcore passage during the final moments of the song. Finally,  "Reconstruction" is, surely, my favorite number of the album due not only to its death metal influences and blast-beats outbursts but also to its some riffs melodic than the usual and an excellent performance by the bassplayer Rok Vrĉkovnik. After this, the album ends with an acoustic (but with an electric guitar solo) "Outro" full of fatalistic and heartbreaking tones without hopes.

The hope...well, I think that the hope represents the lyric leitmotiv of the entire album also because this word is into many songs. In this regard, "Sedated in Utopia" is very significant because it is a song yearning to an utopia made of peace and prosperity these utopistic dreams are systematically destroyed by a no hope world made of money wasted to satisfy our terrible condition of consumers (not of citizens), profit, war, destruction and refugees fleeing from their own lands. In brief and as I said before, the lyrics of Panikk are seriosly profound and intelligent!

So, "Discarded Existence" is a good album also if, said sincerely, I'm not crazy about it. This because it sounds very homogeneous, ergo there aren't very important stylistic differences between the various songs also because this album, despite its complexity, doesn't offer particular peaks of genius. In this respect, my aforementioned favorite tracks are also, in my opinion, the more identifiable (and intense) numbers of "Discarded Existence".


1 - Instigator of War
2 - Sedated in Utopia
3 - Under Pretence
4 - Individual Right
5 - Rotten Cells
6 - Discarded Existence
7 - Eyes Don't Lie
8 - Reconstruction
9 - Outro


Gašper Flere - vocals/guitars
Jaka Ĉrešnar - lead guitars
Rok Vrĉkovnik - bass
Ĉrt Valentić - drums

Xtreem Music:

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