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Slovenia’s Panikk finally unleashes their debut full length album after 5 years. Unbearable Conditions presents with fans of thrash metal with some good, old school thrash metal and with the energetic material that is contained in the 40-minute record, this album is one that is bound to evoke some feelings of nostalgia for the old school fan.
The band’s devotion to the old school is immediately obvious, and the band’s aural assault is relentless as soon as Panic Attack begins, true to the title of the track. The riffing style of guitarists Gasper and Nejc immediately brings one back to the 80s where records like Bonded By Blood and Fabulous Disaster reigned as some of thrash metal’s finest releases. Furthermore, the high energy that the band displays throughout the record is also reminiscent of such bands as Demolition Hammer and Municipal Waste, and resemblance of the latter is extremely obvious with the at times crossover style that Panikk tends to go into, with the raw, punkish energy that is bursting out of the band. The similarity is made all the more evident with the vocal style of Gasper, and the gang shouts at the background that are pretty heavily utilised on Unbearable Conditions.
Yet this is more than just a pure old school thrash metal worship album as the band includes quite a range of other elements. Two tracks in particular stand out from the rest of the album, with the first being the instrumental track Away from Reality, which brings to mind contemporaries such as Diamond Plate with the fusing of the modern and the old school. Revelation of Truth is an acoustic track and displays the more emotional and somewhat melancholic side of the band, and tracks like these ensure that Unbearable Conditions remain a surprising listen throughout.
The instrumentation on Unbearable Conditions is extremely brilliant as well, and guitarists Gasper and Nejc take turns on the lead guitars, alternating between chaotic solos a la Kerry King and those that are more melodic. Drummer Grega provides most of the energy on the record as well, along with the shouting vocals of Gasper. Bassist Rok also remains constantly audible on the album, providing a nice punchy tone to the strings section.
Albums such as Panikk‘s Unbearable Conditions remind me about the reasons that I got attracted to the genre, with the flair that the band displayed in producing their art. With the band managing to add in a tinge of modernity in their brand of old school thrash metal, Unbearable Conditions is certainly the first thrash metal record to catch my attention for the year.