Black Pantera’s Latest ‘Ascensão’ Hits Punishing New Heights
By Nathan Leigh
March 29, 2022
3 records in and Black Pantera are no longer the rebel upstarts, but a full antifascist force to be reckoned with. Each release finds the trio sharpening their daggers without losing an inch of the spark that has made them such a powerful voice in metal. Across it’s 12 spare unapologetic tracks, Ascensão (“Ascension”) adds new depth to their sound while delivering their tightest and most ferocious set to date.
The record kicks off with “Mosha,” reveling in their continued experimentation with sound design before kicking into a breakneck punk beat. Throughout, the interplay of guitar and bass courtesy of the Gama brothers drives the record. Bassist Chaene is pushed further to the front of the mix, often carrying the melodic soul of the songwriting against Charles’ punishing vocals and razor tinged guitars. Lead single “Padrão É O Caralho” sounds tighter and fuller than ever, with drummer Rodrigo “Pancho” Augusto’s work feeling immersive and dynamic. You can almost feel the air pushing out the snare with each hit.
“Não Fode o Meu Rolê” is carried by an infectious riff providing the anchor to Charles’ defiant vocals, while “Dia do Fogo” adds Rodrigo Lima on vocals to create a powerful juxtaposition. For a band whose trademark is a tight minimalist assault, they pack a surprising amount of variation into each song. The songwriting on “Revolução É o Caos” borders on the operatic while retaining their taut ferocity. Meanwhile “Evilcred” is marked by a bassline that belongs among the all-time metal greats. While Charles Gama growls out his lyrics with an unwavering intensity, the contrast against Tuyo in the transcendent closer “Estandarte” elevates it to truly earn the records’ name. For a band whose songs wade in the depths, interrogating the evils of fascism and white supremacy, the shock of melody from Tuyo’s vocals creates a rare spot of beauty in their aggression. Black Pantera’s ability to shock and devastate remains unparalleled.
Follow Black Pantera @blackpanteraoficial for more.
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