Proudly boasting their Boston roots while spitting in the face of genre-defining beard strokers everywhere, PanzerBastard kick the door down with their five round, fight-to-the-finish EP, Centurion. By showcasing their appreciation for all things heavy, even the most discriminating metal enthusiast will find their palette satisfied in the 16 minutes that comprise Centurion.
Remember how a gritty guitar, crunching alone in the left speaker, could open up a song and really set the mood, get your blood flowing and your fist clenching? Listeners will be immediately greeted with a blast from the past: a double dose of Celtic Frost that owns up to the spirit of the originals! Although, ‘I Won’t Dance’ is just as catchy as the original, the attitude has been increased significantly and may provoke more than one rabid fan to dance on your fucking skull if you set foot in his circle pit. ‘The Usurper’ retains a decent amount of that chaotic sound that makes the classic so great, just not enough to usurp the Celtic Frost throne. Overall, the two balance each other out and are terrific, if somewhat unexpected, renditions.
Previously released on their Hell Gate EP, ‘Fatherless Son of War Machine’ brings a destructive d-beat assault that is cut all too short for the potential it really contains. Barely over two minutes, ‘Fatherless…’ offers a d-beat intro, a bluesy chord progression, a double bass bridge, a parallel third or “Iron Maiden” three-part harmony and machine gun, firing line outro. Fuck! I was just getting into it! ‘Life Waster’ brings a little more quantity to the quality with a driving guitar intro and ripping vocal offensive, making good use of breakneck rhythms, inverted chord patterns and cohesive song-flow from start to finish. The unearthly guitar leads add a nice element to really round out what PanzerBastard is capable of doing a musical unit, just in case any of you fucks were about to think otherwise.
The dirge-like title track closes out this EP with its powerful, intoning atmosphere that hints of ancient mysteries and war-mongering madness. All though it is my least favorite track on the album, ‘Centurion’ reminds us again that PanzerBastard is not a one-trick-pony afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and lay down the fucking law. In the all too brief sixteen minutes of Centurion, PanzerBastard show more spirit, diversity and aggression than the majority of ‘bands’ do in their entire careers.
Since this is my last review for 2010, make sure it is the first release you get for 2011!