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Panzerchrist: Regiment Ragnarok

Melting faces since their full length debut in 1996, Panzerchrist started out as a medium paced death metal outfit, however with their 2000 album Soul Collector, the band changed focus in three ways. First up a "war theme" was brought to the Panzerchrist sound in terms of lyrics and atmosphere, secondly machine-gun salvos of drums upped the pace significantly and finally a whole new line up joined bassist and war coordinator Michael Enevoldsen to ensure the creation of his new vision. The roll call for this band has continued to evolve with every tour of duty that Panzerchrist have taken on, but the vital roles are ably filled with drummer Mads Lauridsen gunning down all in his path and vocalist Magnus Jorgensen gargling blood across the twelve growl fuelled attacks that make up the band's sixth full length release.

In terms of the musical assault Regiment Ragnarok is a black tinged death metal album that with the odd exception is charged through at full whack and Lauridsen deserves full credit for his unremitting percussive assault. However as with every extreme metal act, this regiment stands or falls through their guitar attack and in the shape of Rasmus Henriksen and Lasse Bak, Panzerchrist have enough fire power to neutralise the enemy. Thunderous riffs are accompanied by more intricate licks, with the twin guitar approach being well utilised as the pair weave in and out of each other's playing. Enevoldsen ably backs up his crack pair with mightily solid bass work, but it really is the drumming and beyond aggressive vocal attack that entices you behind Regiment Ragnrock's enemy lines.

There's little in the way of originality, although some songs do slow things down somewhat and offer a more atmospheric slant to break up the blitzkrieg, but in general this is a full on, take no prisoners offensive that really allows Panzerchrist to ram home their death metal with maximum force. Some of the songs have little sampled, spoken word intros or explosions and gun fire rattling through them, which all helps add to the atmosphere. However as all good albums should Regiment Ragnarok relies on good songs and superb delivery first and foremost and as such is one of the better offerings from this genre released so far this year. Time to enlist in Regiment Ragnarok!

Track Listing
01. Prevail
02. Panzer Regiment Jylland
03. Metal Tribes
04. Impact
05. For The Iron Cross
06. We March As One
07. The Armour Of Armageddon
08. Ode To A Cluster Bomb
09. King Tiger
10. Feuersturm
11. Time For The Elite
12. Trenches

Added: July 5th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Panzerchrist MySpace
Hits: 3197
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Panzerchrist: Regiment Ragnarok
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-05 20:07:28
My Score:

Denmark's Panzerchrist has seen quite a few lineup changes over the years, and Regiment Ragnarok is no exception. Only two of the members from the band's previous album (Battalian Beast from 2006) remain in the fold this time around, but that should not be viewed at all as a bad thing. Despite the amount of lineup shuffles that have occurred within Panzerchrist, the band has always stayed true to their relentless style of death metal, and Regiment Ragnarok shows the band as brutal and creative as ever. This album is filled with bone-crushingly heavy riffs, captivating war-themed lyrics, and fantastic musicianship that just oozes with class. If you like your death metal to be uncompromisingly brutal, yet still intelligent and technically demanding, Regiment Ragnarok is one of the best recommendations I can think of. Panzerchrist fans and newcomers alike will definitely want to check this one out.

For anyone familiar with Panzerchrist, their style of brutal technical death metal with black metal influences should be instantly recognizable. A chilling atmosphere and highly memorable riffs set this apart from your average fast-paced death metal album, though. There are just enough melodic tendencies and riff variation to keep the album from ever becoming a boring mess. Every song is memorable, extremely fast-paced and heavy, and captivating even after multiple spins. Regiment Ragnarok is the sort of album that just refuses to grow stale, and instead reveals itself even more in-depth after every repeated spin. Seldom do I come across an album this brutal that manages to achieve such a feat - and that just spells "quality" on the band's behalf.

One of the most attractive features about Panzerchrist is undoubtedly the top-notch musicianship. These guys are tight, professional, and technically gifted musicians. Regiment Ragnarok contains quite a few difficult riffs and solos, as well as near-impossible drum patterns. Mads Lauridsen's insane drumming blows me away every time I give this album a spin. New vocalist Magnus Jørgensen is also fantastic and one of the most enjoyable death metal vocalists I can think of - he masters many extreme vocal styles and sounds like he ate a plate of nails before every recording session. There's certainly not much more I could ask from a death metal vocalist! The production is equally professional and enjoyable, finding the perfect balance between sounding polished yet not too sterile.

Regiment Ragnarok really blew me away in almost every regard, and currently stands as one of the finest death metal releases of 2011. Fans and newcomers to Panzerchrist will definitely want to give this one a spin, provided that you enjoy your death metal to be on the faster, more-extreme side. Regiment Ragnarok finds the perfect balance between brutality and memorability, and I will applaud Panzerchrist all day long for managing to achieve this essential point that so many bands forget about. Add in the terrific musicianship and production, and it looks like we have an essential album on our hands. 4 stars are well-deserved in this case.

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