A steady hum, a low-slung guitar riff, and hi-hats counting down to the inevitable cavalcade of thunderous drums: Destroyer of Light's new album Panic starts in the old familiar way. The Austin melodic doom band experiments significantly with how to achieve true heaviness on their new album, but every moment feels tailored toward the timeless quest of bringing life into a dark room full of beer and denim. They channel the unifying power of loud music, teasing a physical response from listeners' subconsciouses, but they also stand apart from their peers by diversifying how exactly they achieve this. Contrast the opening track's classic approach to the follow-up track "Contagion," which follows up an initial piano solo with an enormous riff: both crush, in different ways. Dive deeper into this study with our full album stream below.



Many of the riffs on Panic feel so fuzzy and hot, often tinged with Southern sludge's acidic vinegar, that one imagines them being played out of an amplifier currently on fire. The band's choice of Twilight Zone episode "The Midnight Sun" as song material, which describes an overheated Earth, doesn't dispel this one bit. As an interesting parallel, however, the two-track suite "Cold Air" focuses on the exact opposite, with "Cold Air II" eschewing the band's inflamed volume in favor of a soft, chilling ballad.

Temperature aside, Panic brings the band's vision of worldwide chaos, as they explain further below, to monstrous life. Their ability to twist doom metal into new shapes both terrifying and beautiful draws from an innate command of the genre that keeps riffs at front of mind, but without sacrificing impressive atmosphere.

Vocalist/guitarist Steve Colca comments:

Thematically, our new album, 'Panic', is about human suffering, emotion, and death. It's very heavy, yet melodic [...] The record's subject matter deals with natural disasters and people losing their minds as a result. They become selfish in panicked situations. End-of-the-world type paranoia and chaos-type mania. With the album art, we worked with Samantha Muljat. A lot of her art incorporates mountain images and we have a track on the album called "Cold Air" where a person scales a mountain, but after making it to the peak, winds up freezing to death, which is represented on the cover. Samantha's work really fits the vibe that we're going for, overall, with 'Panic", and I think she helped set the tone very well. On the new album there is more emphasis on vocal harmonies, and melodies. We placed a heavy emphasis on writing melodic hooks, with this LP. A natural evolution for Destroyer of Light."


Panic releases November 11th via Heavy Friends.

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