All Witches Shall Burn (EP)
LABEL: Emanzipation Productions
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings
If you search PANZERCHRIST’s background on the excellent Metal Archives site, you’ll see that the Danish death metallers have been through a fair number of musicians in their 30 years together. Only Michael Enevoldsen remains from the original line-up, with the rest of the band completely fresh in 2023.
Having released “Last Of A Kind” in the summer, one could be forgiven for not expecting any new music from PANZERCHRIST until 2024 at the earliest, and yet here we are, a mere five months later, with “All Witches Shall Burn”, a four-song EP that was recorded at the same time as “Last Of A Kind”.
The EP includes one of the strongest tracks from “Last Of A Kind”, the skull splitting battery of “Sabbath Of The Rat”, alongside three new songs that at least make this an EP worth considering. So, let’s get into it. “Sabbath Of The Rat” is an explosive opener, with Sonja Rosenlund Ahl’s snarling vocals demonstrating once again that the sister has the lungs for the job. Eerie, guttural roars are expelled at machine gun speed, whilst the combined guitar work is ferocious.
“A Stone For The Graveless” follows, a slower, more doom-laden piece that combines some powerful riffs with Ahl’s terrifying roar dominant without overpowering. She is certainly a frontwoman who has no issue with taking the central position, and here she drives the song forward, combining her gravel-soaked delivery with a wall of seismic guitar riffs that are impenetrable, yet bruising in power. It switches briefly to a semi-industrial track, adding big swathes of thick riffage to the punishing flourishes that pummel and pound. It’s six minutes of brutality that batters you repeatedly.
“Satan Is Among Us” continues the brutality, a sheer tour de force in aggression. It’s a bit repetitive in style, part-echoing the first two tracks, but it is saved by the sheer force in which it is delivered. That leads to the closing song, “She’s A Witch”. It’s a piece of closure with a difference, for the three-minute piece is more atmosphere than a full track, full of haunting voices that eerily drift in an out as an organ pipes its sinister tones. Full of drama and horror, it encapsulates the whole essence of this EP, with chilling witches voices drifting in and out.
As extreme as they have ever been, this is an EP that may be more for the hardcore fan than the casual listener. But 30 years into a journey, this is unlikely to be a challenge for PANZERCHRIST, who continue to deliver at the more extreme end of the metal world.