The Rise of The Mysterious Album, Panchiko's Death Metal

Pachiko’s D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L is surrounded by a wave of mystery. Originally released in 2000, D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L has gained incredible traction online since its re-release in 2020. The album’s first appearance was noted in 2016, when a user on 4chan posted about it on a music forum looking for answers as to who is Panchiko and if anyone recognized the album. The CD was plagued with disc rot, which left the audio quality muffled and scrambled. Many users were interested in the album; however, there wasn’t much success and a search for D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L’s origin began.

To everyone’s surprise, the creator of Panchiko was located on Facebook but he kept himself anonymous, under the name Owain. Their band consisted of 4 members and they were located in the UK. D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L only had 30 original copies released, which were given to friends and family; the fact that it made it to the internet and caused such an uproar surprised the creator themselves, as they never expected so much attention to their album, which was put together in a bedroom according to Andy, one of the members.

“D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L”, which’s the album’s first track, starts off with a soft synth loop, which lets the listeners get immersed into the short 18-minute EP. Gradually, it goes from a more indie rock beat into a more experimental, shoegaze-y tune. “D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L” slowly fades out it shifts once more to another catchy song, “Stabilisers For The Boys”. This track has a lot rougher sounding audio, with off tune vocals to cause a sense of eeriness, which the lyrics go hand in hand with. Third Track, titled “Laputa”, is a ballad to Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky. It mentions plenty of references to the animation over a somber tune. Lot of the crunchiness that was prominent in the disc rot can still be heard in this album, as if it were intentional. The song ends with a piano/guitar combo, leading to the final track “The Eyes of Ibad”. With this song being the longest on the EP, it is a great sendoff to Panchiko’s only official release, packing a punch with hints of tambourine, mellow guitar riffs, a simple drum beat and harsh vocals that get more and more gritty as the song progresses. By the end, the track is very garbled but peaceful in its own unique way.

Mystery that caused an album to be completely revamped makes Panchiko’s D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L so much greater. The anticipation of the 2020 release led a lot of fans come together and invite new listeners to the less grating version, which is gaining more and more attention daily.

If you’re interested in D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L, you can check out the extended version on Bandcamp!

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