Location: Jacksonville, Florida
I could lie and tell you that Trash Panda‘s themes didn’t play a large role in my decision to cover their music, but I know that you wouldn’t believe me. As if I would ever give up the chance to cover an extreme metal band whose music focuses solely on racoons.
Now you’re probably wondering if Pawns of the Putrid God is actually worth your time musically. Well, I’m happy to report that it very much is, and that the lyrical themes just serve as an amazing bonus. The band play what is best described as a fusion of slam, deathgrind and progressive brutal death metal. Not that genre nitpicking matters, what matters is that this album is STUPIDLY heavy, furiously aggressive and technically complex.
On the topic of theme, the album focuses on all things racoon related while playing off traditional death metal tropes. Song titles such as Tearing Through The Hefty Bags, Soda Ring Strangulation and Concentrated Trash Compactor Cocktail should seem funny to anyone who knows anything about racoons and is familiar with death metal song titles. The album art perfectly ties all these themes together and completes the racoon wrapped package.
For me personally, seeing that a band is signed to Brutal Mind immediately gives me hope that their music is going to be worth my time. While I don’t love everything the label puts out, I enjoy most of it and this album continues that trend. As with most releases from this label the album gives us furious drum work presented at breakneck speeds and couples it with complex and varied guitar work. This isn’t your run of the mill generic repetitive brutal death metal, there’s some fairly innovative riffs and hooks on display here. These are enhanced by the thick, bouncy bass work that flows alongside the guitar segments. What makes the album that much more enjoyable though is the underlying slam-based groove that flows right through the release.
Then of course you have to ask, “what would brutal death metal be without crushingly powerful vocals?” and fortunately you won’t find the answer here. Trash Panda come at the listener full force in this regard, with not one but three vocal styles on display. All three of these styles bring to mind Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation, particularly the more barked mid-range style and the higher pitched shrieked style. The deeply guttural style employed is a more traditional brutal death metal offering and reminds me of the CD’s earlier albums. There’s a great balance struck between the three styles and together with the instrumental work they help to give the album a lot of its variety.
Overall, I really enjoyed the release and even though I was initially drawn in by its themes and artwork I stayed and continued to come back for the music itself. If you’re a fan of deathgrind or brutal death metal, then you won’t want to miss this.
Listen to and order the album: