Panic Cell - Heavy as Hell

They combine old school thrash, bludgeoning Pantera-esque riffs and guitar solos that aren't shit

Feature by Ted Maul | 15 Jun 2006

Moshing – it's one of life's simple pleasures; a primal exorcism of, well, whatever you like really. Whether you hate the world or just hate yourself, moshing will make it all better. Honest.

Thank the dark lord then, for the creation of Panic Cell. Large of stature, and even larger of riff, they're one of the metal scene's brightest new hopes at the minute and have been flattening audiences around the country with their addictive blend of metal and heavy rock.

They may be the hot new band on the scene, but these guys have paid their dues in bands such as Exile and Downtrodden – bands which despite fearsome live reputations, never managed to break out of the London circuit. All that changed however, with the formation of Panic Cell and the release of the suberb Rockaphilia EP in 2003. Heads began to turn immediately and it soon became clear that Panic Cell had the passion and the experience to really stand out – no mean feat in a genre notoriously overpopulated by sub-par chancers.

Here and now in 2006, things couldn't look rosier for Panic Cell, or for that matter, their lucky, lucky fans. With a Staind support slot under their belt and having already established that they can blow much bigger acts clean off the stage at events like Bloodstock and Download, the metal crown is theirs for the taking.

2003's 'Bitter Part of Me' is the definitive document of their sound up to this point; a classic slice of modern metal that combines old school thrash, bludgeoning Pantera-esque riffs and guitar solos that aren't shit. Singer Luke Bell is the band's ace in the hole; a mountain of a man who is blessed with an awesome melodic vocal palette that enables Panic Cell to marry their old school rock and metal influences with a contemporary, anthemic edge. Elements of John Garcia and Layne Staley can even be discerned in some of Bell's performances, whilst on tracks like Save Me the band sound reminiscent of the brilliant early work of US post-grunge rockers Cold.

Clearly this is a band who have depth and range in both their influences and their own sound; a refreshing change from the fly-by-night one hit wonders who have had a habit of cheapening the metal scene recently. Check them out at ABC 2 this June; it's going to be heavy.

Panic Cell play ABC 2, Glasgow on June 3.
'Bitter Part of Me' is out now.