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Panzerfaust – The Suns Of Perdition: Chapter III: The Astral Drain

The Suns Of Perdition: Chapter III: The Astral Drain
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 02 August 2022, 1:40 AM

PANZERFAUST is a black metal band from Canada, who formed in 2005.  Chapter three of “The Suns Of Perdition,” is their sixth full length album.  They have also released a split album and three Eps over the years. I’m going to spend the better part of this review ranting about interludes.  I can’t speak for other genres because I’m a close minded asshole whose listening habits are 99% metal but I can tell you this: the genre has a major problem with pointless tracks filled with random bullshit.  To most people, these “songs” are called interludes.  I’m absolutely sick of them.

It seems more and more albums are including short stop gap tracks in their albums—and most of them are filler.  As a reviewer, I have to consider every aspect of an album—one of those being flow. Taking a journey on an album from beginning to end is all about that flow.  It seems bands use interludes in attempts to move that flow forward but it almost never works.  From the perspective of a reviewer, it is a huge annoyance.  From the perspective of a music fan, it is lazy song writing and worthless fluff.  The only perspective that interludes work is that of the song writer/musicians involved in them.  I get that.  It is their band and, as such, they can do what they want and no one has a right to judge them.  Right? Wrong.

As a reviewer, it IS my right to judge whatever I want about an album.  As a listener, it is my right to not like your stupid ideas.  The stupid ideas in question are from this latest PANZERFAUST album.  It has FOUR interludes.  Did your brain seizure into dyslexia and read that wrong?  Nope.  FOUR.  One. Two. Three. Four.  My god in heaven, the album has nine tracks and nearly half them are filler, as far as track listing goes.  For the album’s running time,  these “songs” take up nearly ten minutes of it. Why? What is this?  I’ll tell you what it is: absolutely inexcusable.  If I wanted an album filled with songs that go absolutely no where, I’d listen to TOOL or TAYLOR SWIFT.  Those ten minutes should have been left off the album or used to add another full song or two.  As it stands now, they are nothing more than a brick wall that ruins the listening experience .

The previous album only had five tracks—no filler, just five badass songs.  Why didn’t the band just remove the interludes on this one and leave five, badass songs?  What was going through their head where they said, “You know what fans really want?  38 seconds of voices.”  Ironically, that track is called “The Pain,” and it was indeed a pain in my ass. PANZERFAUST is by far not the only band to take this route.  IAPETUS and IZTHI have both released somewhat recent incredible albums that are filled to the brim with these time wasting tracks.  But I didn’t review those albums.  I’m reviewing this one and I’m incredibly frustrated. Also, those albums are actually good.

The five tracks that are actual songs are still kind of filler themselves.  They just seem to kind of exist—they drone on and I found myself losing focus.  I’ve mentioned this before in previous reviews but I do a lot of music listening while driving.  If I find myself getting sleepy while listening to an album then I know it has some problems. On top of all that, they lack a lot of the aggression from their previous albums and take some time to sink in. There is a hellish atmosphere and moody vibe that greatly appeals to me but there aren’t many standout moments that stick out in my mind.  To put it in perspective, I still listen to part II on occasion but I’ll probably never listen to this album again after this review is published.

The album opener “Death-Drive Projections,” has a theatrical build up, like a slow rumble that threatens to break. The vocals alternate between death growl and higher pitched blackened vocals—very well done, as usual. The vocal attack helps make the song heavy, which is good because the music isn’t aggressive at all. The biggest issue I have with the song is the threat never becomes a reality—it teeters on the edge of disaster but kind just treads water. Still isn’t a bad song and it does a great job of supply the album with the tone it will have the rest of the run time.

The Hive and the Hole,” sounds very similar to the point where it is hard to tell them apart. That means this one is good too but it also means that not even a full twelve minutes into the album and it is already fading into background noise. The later half of the song, as in the last two minutes, does manage to get slightly more exciting, due to the excitable drumming and vocals. I’d review the rest of the album but at this point, there isn’t any real need to. The rest of the songs sound the same and the filler just makes it a long experience that offers very little reward. The atmosphere and feel of the album are better than the songs themselves—a very weird release in that respect. It seems they drew a picture with strong line work but never
bothered to fill any of it in.

All in all, this is definitely the weakest of the three “Suns Of Perdition” albums released thus far and a disappointing step back from the near perfect release of part II, an album that gave a 9.  I hate giving such a talented band a low review but I hope they can find more even footing next time around.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Death-Drive Projections
2. The Fear (Interlude)
3. B22: The Hive and the Hole
4. The Pain (Interlude)
5. Bonfire of the Insanities
6. The Fury (Interlude)
7. The Far Bank at the River Styx
8. Enantiodromia (Interlude)
9. Tabula Rasa
Brock Van Dijk – Guitars, Vocals
Goliath – Vocals
Thomas Gervais – Bass
Alexander Kartashov – Drums
Record Label: Eisenwald


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Edited 31 March 2023

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