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Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna

panychida – gabreta aeterna


Ever since 2004, the Czech band Panychida have been spreading their Pagan Metal to the world. The creative core of the band in the form of bass player Talič and guitar players Mira Sinneral Lavička and Honza Vanek has been intact since the very beginning. Together with vocalist Vlčák, who has been a member even since the band’s second album from 2010, they have been honing their Pagan Metal band sound. In 2020 the band released their fifth album ‘Gabreta Aeterna’, which due to several reasons ended up in the dungeons of VM Underground, only to be reviewed as late as 2023. Better late than never they say.

When it comes to the music of Panychida, the broad term Pagan Metal can be further broken down into a mixture of Black Metal, Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal. The Black Metal aspect mostly comes from the guitar sound, the harsh vocals of Vlčák and riffs like in ‘Válečná běsnění připravující krajinu šumavskou o její syny a uvádějící v svár místní lid’, album highlight ‘Trampus – o samotě a smrti v odlehlých končinách’ or opener ‘Bílý Samum’. But even in tracks like these, the highly proficient melodic leads and riffs and Heavy/Thrash Metal rhythms flow abundantly. While there is certainly a Black Metal aesthetic to the production, tracks like ‘Nikoho pán, nikoho sluha’ focus as a whole on epic and melodic music. Not only are the guitar parts full of flowing melodies and solos, the bass is also prominently featured in the production and provides an independent and creative pulse throughout the songs. In a track like ‘Černou nocí míhá se černý stín’ the riffs have a folky nature, something that’s even further enhanced by clean vocals and acoustic guitars. These elements are just as recurrent as the Black Metal vocals and melodic guitar leads, so yes, Pagan Metal is a bit of a limited term to describe the full soundscape presented on ‘Gabreta Aeterna’, but it certainly covers the overall feel of the music.

Compared to the previous albums, Panychida hasn’t changed a whole lot and I think that fans of the band will embrace this album fully. For those that don’t know quite what to expect, if you like melody-driven, technically skilled Heavy/Thrash Metal with a Black Metal edge and a folky slant, then it’s certainly worth giving this album a spin. There is quite a lot happening, which does require attention from the listener. And maybe at 54 minutes the album is a bit too lengthy for my taste, but there is no denying that Panychida are incredibly skilled at their trade and ‘Gabreta Aeterna’ feels like a perfect fit in their discography.

Evil Horn Records

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