Origin: Czech Republic
Genre: Pagan Black Metal
Label: Cursed Records Paragon Records Werewolf Productions
“Grief for an Idol” is the third full-length album of Czech pagan black metallers Panychida, from Plzeň. This great album is released 2 years after the EP “Woodland Journey” and 3 years after their second full-length album “Moon, Forest, Blinding Snow” from 2010. Panychida were born in 2004 and after their demo in 2006, they released their debut album “Paganized” via Folter Records in 2007. The same label released the second album too, while the EP was published with the December 2011 issue of Pařát Magazine. The new album was released finally on December 2013 as a cooperation between 3 labels, Werewolf Productions from Czech Republic, Cursed Records from Austria and Paragon Records from USA.
Panychida play pagan black metal with a very good and powerful sound, which improves within each release. They add epic melodic death metal and folk black metal elements in their music, keeping always their sound very solid, without changing genre from track to track. I’ve watched the band since its beginning and I have to admit that “Grief for an Idol“ surprised me and actually impressed me. Except for the more professional sound, the band moves more or less in the same style. What has been spectacularly improved though is the quality and complexity of their compositions, like the whole band had a stroke of genius! They have a very technical sound, with many beautiful melodies, keeping their brutal raw pagan black metal nature intact. This time there is bigger diversity in the songs, something that makes the album much more interesting. Some of them sound more melodic with a pagan melancholic atmosphere, others more epic death metal oriented, some with a clearly folk approach and others with a more experimental mood. My favorite songs are “Two Untouched Moments“, “Krasatina (Grief for the Idol)” and “Wayfarer’s Awakening“.
Panychida’s vocal lines are equally diverse, ranging from brutal pagan black death metal screams, to epic clean vocals, choirs and narrations; practically all band members contribute to them, not only in backing vocals, but in lead vocals too. Except for the typical metal instruments, in some songs they add bagpipes and flutes, as well as synths, while they don’t hesitate to experiment with some electronic “touches” in a few parts! Several guest musicians participate in the album, like V’ganðr (Helheim, Taake) who sings on “Minnestund“, for which he also wrote the lyrics! “Grief for an Idol” is not a concept album and the majority of its lyrics are in English, except for ”Minnestund” in Norwegian, “O Veliji Vezě” in old Slavonic language and “Perchta” in Czech.
“Grief for an Idol” is for sure the most complete, mature, complex, diverse and best produced album of the band. I recommend it to all fans of pagan black metal, who want to listen to a very balanced album with rich orchestrations! If you don’t know Panychida at all, this is the perfect album to start! It is released in standard jewel case edition CD with 16-page booklet, including all the lyrics. Cover artwork and paintings are by Moonroot Art, while layout and design by Lord Reverend Jim. It is also released digitally on their Bandcamp page, where you can also find all their previous works too. By the way, there are plans for a future vinyl edition. You can visit the band’s official pages below for more info and sound samples.