2023 marked the newly refreshed line-up of Danish Death/Black Metal five-piece Panzerchrist. Formed originally in 1993 by Michael Enevoldsen, this saw the return of guitarist Frederik O’Carroll, along with new vocalist Sonja Rosenlund Ahl and new guitarist Danny Bo (both from Arsenic Addict). Drummer Danni Jelsgaard (Detest, Vansind) also joined the line-up.
Panzerchrist – All Witches Shall Burn (Emanzipation)
Release Date: 5 January 2024
Words: Jools Green
They released their latest album, Last Of A Kind, a mere six months ago. Determined not to lose any momentum, they are now set to drop a follow-up, the four-track, nineteen-minute EP, All Witches Shall Burn.
Recorded in the same session as Last Of A Kind, these tracks are far from being leftovers. All would have been worthy of inclusion had there been room on the album, I’m sure. But the EP serves to bring a final closure to the “witchy” concept of that album.
The EP opens on Sabbath Of The Rat, which was also included on Last Of A Kind, effectively tying the two releases together. A strong and brutal piece, it initially delivers an unrelenting wall of intense driving riffs, pounding drum rhythms and searing acidic vocals. There is a subtle melodic undercurrent, making it hugely engaging as well as a brutal beast.
The song reaches its zenith with a spiralling swathe of leadwork in the first half, then midway through, drops back dramatically. It rebuilds steadily, with a repeat haunting melody, gradually building up to the former driving pace.
In complete contrast, A Stone For The Graveless crawls at you at a slow, smouldering pace, delivering crushing heaviness. A doomy tempo gathers speed as the track progresses. With a slightly industrial atmosphere, a superbly sinister build and haunting melodic elements in the second half bring a piece that is magnificently atmospheric and unnerving in equal measures. Sonja’s vocals are sinisterly on point. It sends a shiver down your spine. I absolutely love this track.
Satan Is Among Us opens with a horror-infused intro, ramping up into a fast and sinister beast of a track. The riffs are intense, the atmosphere unnerving, and the vocals slice through with vicious intent. There’s a brutally unnerving drop away midway through, only to rebuild with even more vicious and dark intent than before. Again, that subtly melodic undercurrent lurking within the riffs draws your attention and holds it firmly.
Finally, She’s A Witch closes the chapter on the concept of Last Of A Kind / All Witches Shall Burn. It’s an eerily haunting, atmospheric outro consisting of an unnerving maelstrom of bells, chants, calls and moans.
All Witches Shall Burn is an EP worthy of your attention.
All Witches Shall Burn will be available as a digital download at: All Witches Shall Burn | Panzerchrist | Emanzipation Productions (bandcamp.com)