It was with high expectations that I turned to Panzerfaust‘s new record, and I have not been disappointed. I admit to apprehension when I saw that there were no less than four tracks tagged as interludes. However, only three of these are really interludes, (one is a 6-minute instrumental), and while none of these three are really essential, they’re not complete wastes of space like most interludes are. Regardless, The Suns of Perdition – Chapter III: The Astral Drain is still an exceptional album, so let’s get to it.
The main songs all offer masterclasses in immersive atmosphere and mood-based blackened horror. This is not your typical black metal album, and all the better for it. The expressive music is involved and intricate, without sacrificing emotive potency. The songs gradually build and grow, spreading their darkness far and wide through unsettling atmosphere and grim harrowing feeling. It’s as if a Neurosis-esque strain of apocalyptic post-metal has been injected into Panzerfaust’s DNA, resulting in the sort of highly textured and atmospheric material that seems rarely heard. This is doomed black metal of the highest order.
The songwriting is intentional and well-judged, allowing the band to craft malevolent soundscapes of tortured darkness and creative shadow. The thick layers of the music are thoroughly engaging, and once you listen to this album, you’ll know it has you held fast
This is a record that works best listened to as one piece of work, one track moving to the next like an experiential journey. The songs flow and unfold like something living, almost like it takes the complexity of a biological system and presents it simply and irresistibly as a collection of slithering, shifting entities that you can’t keep your eyes off.
The band’s impassioned performance is impressive, and all band members shine. The nuanced drumming and the varied vocals deserve particular mention, but everything here is delivered at a very high standard.
The band’s compositions are inventive and compelling. The album succeeds in dwarfing its peers and ruling a section of the extreme metal landscape that now belongs purely to Panzerfaust.
It’s hard to properly articulate how accomplished The Suns of Perdition – Chapter III: The Astral Drain is, and how much it stands above most other ostensibly similar atmosphere-focused black metal. Panzerfaust have created yet another masterpiece, and you simply must not miss this.