Pikodeath - Killed By Silence

Pikodeath are a four piece that have been around since the late 90s and hail from Czechia. Rooted in both Thrash and Death Meal, this group avoids the typical Vader or Legion of the Damned tropes and aims more for a heavier ‘Death Metal’ loaded route with bits of Thrash here and there, but avoiding the Speed Thrash hybrid route. Their music is heavy- pretty much blast beat Vital Remains or older Deicide heavy. Right from the opening track it is clear that with the growled/ snarled vocals and levels of aggression with the guitars and drums that the band is aiming for a louder output, avoiding much in the groove or mid paced accessibility catchy riffs like Slayer tends to do for most of the track save for a part here and there. One could even compare them to Dew Scented at their heaviest in their earlier work like “Impact,” but the drums are certainly not killed by quiet clicks but instead pounding thunder. Hence the irony of Pikodeath’s latest album “Killed by Silence.”

The album took some time to make; the last time we heard anything from these guys was 2017. The result is about 30 minutes of solid music that falls in the vein of what they’ve done before, so like any good Hate Eternal or Cannibal Corpse expectation, familiar listeners should expect more of the same while for new listeners this is not a bad place to start. The production is a little more crisp and less hazier and thicker (kind of like a Dismember album), which also leads to more clear blast beats so the band trades one layer of sound for another. The guitars are still handed by Pepino who has been one of the original members since the beginning in ’98, and his style is pretty much the meaty churning riffs that will thrill fans of the likes of faster Bolt Thrower. For those looking for more Thrash inspired riffs, a track like ‘Foreboding’ has a bit of that Exodus/ Municipal Waste tinge to it, but with the machine gun fire drums that endlessly hammer away from Macetazo, the Death Metal elements are still loud and crushing as ever until the almost Darkthrone- esque punk bits come in for some great head banging groove. Oddly enough, the bass is more audible on the earlier tracks from FiDo who rumbles along with the guitars. And of course with the clearer production all around it gives more of a voice to vocalist Loppi whose growls and bellows with some snarls are front and center.

With a lot of familiarity also comes some boredom. Pikodeath tend to rely on the familiar Deicide meets Bolt Thrower formula where it is all catchy aggression, especially considering a track like ‘Killed by Silence.’ It is heavy fun, but when that heavy fun is pretty much the same on most of the album without a foreboding solo, a few moments of Thrash inspired chugs, the blast beats and aggression starts to wear a bit on the ear. Tracks like ‘Patriarch’ are a bit more balanced and more of that decent ‘Thrash hybrid,’ complete with heavy riffs but those blistering solos and overall a more varied sound that will appeal to those who like Melechesh. Ultimately, “Killed by Silence” has its stumbles for lack of variety, but is nonetheless still a very aggressive output that is sure to appeal more to the moshers than the head bangers. A ‘non mainstream’ Death Thrash effort that is worth checking out for those who like their music fast and furious, but not like some of the bigger bands out there that have already popularized the sound.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Meinungsmacher
2. Evidenz Des Deliriums
3. Four Aces Shooter
4. Unknown Victory
5. Pantheon
6. Foreboding
7. Soldier Death
8. Killed By Silence
9. Patriarch