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PanzerChrist - "Regiment Ragnarok" (CD)

PanzerChrist - "Regiment Ragnarok" CD cover image

"Regiment Ragnarok" track listing:

1. Prevail
2. Panzer Regiment Jylland
3. Metal Tribes
4. Impact
5. For the Iron Cross
6. We March as One
7. The Armour of Armageddon
8. Ode to a Cluster Bomb
9. King Tiger
10. Feuersturm
11. Time for the Elite
12. Trenches

Reviewed by on August 25, 2011

"'Regiment Ragnarok' is pretty much all meat and no gristle for PanzerChrist."

This year marks a time when several older bands are putting out new material to varied results. Some have disappointed, but others like Denmark's PanzerChrist are spot-on. Since their inception, this combo - featuring bassist Michael Enevoldsen as the only original member - has put out pretty solid death thrashing combat metal. Their newest release, "Regiment Ragnarok," is yet another blitzkrieg of the best elements of old school and the sound that defines them.

Their new album does not disappoint, with its unapologetic loud stream of tunes that rarely lets up from beginning to end. Every track, like "Metal Tribes," is high energy blast beats - this one with great crunchy riffs and rhythm. The pace seldom wanes, being continuous and conflagratory like a skirmish. "Impact" steps up the speed a notch, but integrates nice technical breakdowns that shift from faster to subdued with logic and thought. They have stayed completely true to the style that made all their preceding albums so popular with their fan base.

PanzerChrist has that vintage style of blackened thrash down to a science, sounding like a winning version of Iron Angel, Sodom and Bathory. "Feuersturm" combines a killer air-raid bomb blitz with loud, nasty agent orange-style thrashing, while the thundering pace of "The Armour of Armageddon" does not preclude the interspersion of mega beats, double bass and good time changes. "Ode to a Cluster Bomb" takes an average speed track and enhances it with a base melody simulating that of battle noises, giving it a conflict feel. In "Time for the Elite," they take a chunky basic riff and turn it into an unbelievably fast and cacophonous romp that sounds like a machine gun.

They slow down the beat into cruise along stompers like "Prevail," or the good midpaced number "We March as One," whose leads and style hint at classic Infernal Majesty in their technical control. For the most part, they keep it break-neck fast in all the songs like "For the Iron Cross," which descends into a good riff-a-rama after a slow intro. "Panzer Regiment Jylland" is raw and harsh, much like early Possessed with its evil vocals and whirl of leads. The track could use better production, especially in the overall sound of the drums, which come off really hollow and cheap sounding.

"Regiment Ragnarok" is pretty much all meat and no gristle for PanzerChrist. They haven't changed their sick style and have given us something just as bellicose and high energy as they're known for. This album grabs you from the get-go with well-written, vile death thrashing that straddles both the technical and the depraved. Your neck will thoroughly hurt after one listen.

Highs: Blistering attack of high energy combat thrash from beginning to end

Lows: Production detracts from the drums and other musical elements at times

Bottom line: "Regiment Ragnarok" is one of the better albums I have heard this year.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)