Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A Decisive Victory - 90%

Thumbman, December 17th, 2018

Panphage really came out of nowhere with their stunning debut Storm. The first part of the intro is strikingly similar to The Doors' “The End”, and much of the album draws from a similarly deep-cutting abandon, albeit in a wholly different manifestation. Storm goes balls to the wall with triumphant riffs, from-the-mountaintops leads and a foe-obliterating vocal onslaught. Hell, even the programmed drums are great. Storm is an easy victory for this viking-imbued melodic black metal band.

A central component to Panphage’s success is they (or he rather, this is a one-man band) have one thing they do really well, but add just enough other stuff to keep it from becoming a one trick pony. To break up the waves of life-affirming riffage and soaring melodies, we have deep chanting clean vocals, some more trad metal-leaning riffs and an icy ambient outro. One atypical riff that really stands out to me is the big catchy groove-laden riff in “Vid Kusten”. It’s one of the highlights of the album and not actually that unsurprising for a viking-inspired band – it reminds of some of the more groove-oriented riffs that Bathory used on Hammerheart. There’s also an impossibly catchy trad metal riff on “Hemmavid” that really steals the show.

Let’s get to the meat of Panphage’s sound. “Förfäder” really exemplifies what makes Storm so memorable. You have energetic, biting riffs mingling with insatiably catchy but not sugary leads, powerful proclamative bellows trading off with deep chants. It all works so well together. Throwing in female backing vocals is just icing on the cake. There’s a lot about this that could have come off a bit goofy or saccharine, but Panphage masterfully play the balancing act and effortlessly come out on top. The production is just another example of this, being clear and full but still retaining enough bite to make the black metal convincing.

Storm is one hell of a debut and the best the now defunct project would ever do. Panphage here are so good at making things fun without descending into silly or vacuous territory. This being a one-man band makes it all the more impressive. Whether you are looking for melody, atmosphere, memorable song writing or ass-kicking riffs – Panphage has you covered. Storm is a thoroughly worthwhile album that should appeal to a fairly broad range of metal fans.