Monday, June 26, 2023

Full Length Review: Punebre "Ang Nasa Dako Paroon" (Death In Pieces Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Punebre
Location: Manila
Country: Philippines
Genre: Old school death metal
Format: Digital album
Release date: May 15, 2023
According to Alexander Dela Cruz (In Dark Purity zine), Punebre is named after the Filipno word for "dirge". The band was founded by Cruz in the late summer of 2017 as a one man project, inspired musically by early nineties “chainsaw death metal” bands such as Autopsy, Dismember, Impetigo and Phlegm and lyrically by folklore, horror and mythology.
By the time work began on “Ang Nasa Dako Paroon”, it had grown into a full band. Since Punebre were releasing demos, rehearsal tapes, and digital singles prior to hiring a full ensemble and composing enough material for a full album, “Ang Nasa Dako Paroon” is not too shabby as a debut.
The band members may be familiar to some of you out there since they were previously in Raspatul, Saviorskin, and Demiurge; their experience working with those bands has evidently contributed to Punebre's take on old school DM.
For instance, the slow pace of the introduction to "Burning The Pot" is presented in a considerably foreboding way, adding weight to the double bass-laden mid tempo and thrashier progressions that follow. The relentless grinding feel of this song is a lot like Autopsy, still sounds fresh and should be appealing to you if you like them.
Nearly all of the songs are relatively short, but this serves to sustain the listener's attention for these reasons: the influence of Autopsy is clearly prevalent throughout "Ang Nasa Dako Paroon", particularly in the vocals and guitars. The bass guitars also provide menacingly stimulating support for the tracks. You can hear just enough bass underneath the guitars to perceive something malignant lurking beneath the surface; this aspect gives the album an undeniable sense of ominousness, giving depth to the persistently ruthless energy pushed onward by the drums.
The lyrical content is also consistently brief, to the point and easy to understand over the music, not overstaying their welcome. Thirty years on and Punebre can still make the chainsaw sound relevant. –Dave Wolff

Ian Cuevas: Vocals, guitar
Alexander Dela Cruz: Guitar
Christian Igna: Bass
Ryan Quiray: Drums

Track list:
1. Burning The Pot
2. Holy Maou
3. Balete Overdrive
4. The Burning Crusade
5. Itim
6. Hele Hele
7. Shaken And Rattled
8. Great White Grin
9. Prom Knife
10. The Ghost Of Pepsi Paloma
11. Sa Dako Paroon

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