Banisher album review – Oniric Delusions

Deviant yet precision-tooled death metal from Rzeszów's Banisher; read our album review here

Banisher album cover

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Poland’s death metal credentials have never been in doubt, and Banisher can only add to the country’s formidable reputation for technical skill and song-writing chops.

Their third album, Oniric Delusions occasionally conforms to type, with echoes of Vader and Decapitated and a hint of Behemoth-style pomp, but this is a subtly distinctive lesson in brutality that never quite does what those blueprints suggest.

There is plenty of atmosphere in the full-pelt likes of Notion Materialized and Confront The Mass, but the clipped and precise production ensures that nothing gets lost in a fog of faux authenticity. Boldness is the key here: these songs have big hooks and the muscle to make them count, but there’s no compromise in their venomous delivery. When Banisher conjure warped, post-Meshuggah grooves on Human Factor or blossom into epic, melodic splendour during The Iconoclast, it never sounds like a band trying too hard to harness the zeitgeist. Instead, these are subversive touches on an album that aims high and shatters the target.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.