Premonitions of War

The True Face of Panic

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Premonitions of War may have one foot in hardcore punk, but they're really a grindcore band. "Relentless" is the operative word. The True Face of Panic begins as a brawl, an immediately pummeling takedown. The title track occasionally comes up for air in half-time, but repeatedly succumbs to fisticuffs. "Correspondences" goes metal, literally, as cymbals clang over clattering blastbeats. Its relentless grinding does give way to huge, abstract chords, a key weapon in the band's arsenal. Just when things turn black and tunnel vision develops, wide-open chords illuminate the scene, one of utter devastation. In "Hanging Man," such chords crop up in stark contrast to its machine gun riffs. The foot-dragging "Abomination" is practically doom metal -- in between hardcore two-step beats and chaotic, angular accents. Electronic experimentation is rife, but it befits the bombed-out feel. "Hanging Man" ends with cavernous, industrial-sounding beats, while "I'd Settle for Sleep" closes with similarly bleak dub. Roaring vocals scorch throughout. Premonitions of War hadn't yet reached the massive scope of Left in Kowloon, but they flatten a few towns here.

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