Los Angeles, California-based rock quintet Panic in Eden released in October 2016 a 10-track album, In the Company of Vultures. This choice of a title makes direct reference to the disillusionment the members of the band felt while coming of age in the “city of angels”, where so many predators feed off the weak. Not to say that Pierce Humke (vocals), Conor Spellane (guitar, vocals), Will Hammond (guitar), Alex Diaz (bass, vocals), and Nick Marshall (drums) have completely given up hope. Quite the contrary, they seek, amidst the pain, anguish, and despair, to always find hope.
Most of the numbers on In the Company of Vultures have a hard rock feel to them. “Out for Blood” is an electric guitar-led uptempo song. Intense, engaging, and very passionate, it is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end and will set feet tapping. “War on the Rocks” features an opening that highlights more impressive six-string skills. The vocals come off as tongue-in-cheek despite a topic that is anything but lighthearted. Also uptempo and engaging, it conveys a a sense of annoyed despair that doesn’t go anywhere near hopelessness; rather, this song seems almost like an anthem calling listeners to arise to change things.
The shrieking guitars in “Could It Be You?” create an auditory space within which the emotive vocals flip flop between hope and despair. The slow tempo is almost languid at times. “Shapeshifter” is melodramatic, throbbing, loud, and demands listeners’ attention from the first to the last second. The long “A Revelation at Its Finest”—clocking in at a little over seven minutes—goes by extremely fast (in a very good way).
The metallic “Palaces” opens with two electric guitars playing a sonic dance of sorts while the vocals get a bit creepy. “Who’s to Blame?” features surprisingly fresh and light-sounding vocals which gives it a completely different sound, but the underlying frustration and desire for things to change fit right in with the rest of the album. It also alternates between upbeat rock verses and almost ballad-like choruses.
Finally, both “White Elephant” and “The Waltz” are very theatrical. The former is an instrumental number, very dramatic and evoking very rich imagery, while the latter could easily be a musical number.
Panic in Eden share important messages in its music in a non-confrontational, honest, and non-patronising way, making their album all the more powerful. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about the band and their music is available on both their official website and their official Facebook page.