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After two full-length albums and an EP of cover songs, Inhuman Condition returns with a new offering titled Panic Prayer. This eight-song EP serves up wickedly groovy death/thrash metal laced with hardcore. The hateful, menacing, and sickening Panic Prayer is sure to satisfy your nostalgic cravings.

Inhuman Condition consists of a very fine group of American artists. Panic Prayer features Obituary, ex-Death, and ex-Six Feet Under’s Terry Butler on bass; Deicide and The Absence’s Taylor Nordberg on guitars; as well as Jeramie Kling of Venom Inc., The Absence, and Ex Deo on vocals and drums. All three members have played with Massacre, who, of course, unleashed the EP Inhuman Condition in 1992, though Butler was the only member of the Inhuman Condition team who participated in that effort. Panic Prayer was recorded and produced by Kling and Nordberg with the apparent intention of preserving the rawness and grimy, garage feel of the music. The former handled mixing and the latter mastered the release. The production will be appreciated by those who are fed up with the abundance of overly polished albums nowadays.

Panic Prayer begins with three original songs. The title track definitely stands out as a highlight of this release. The EP is predictable but in a way that is bound to strike a chord with fans of old-school metal. Of course, Panic Prayer reflects the skill of the musicians involved. The guitars and bass might just be enough to keep you hooked. The solos are enjoyable. The vocals are adequate, yet they could use more power and are unlikely to truly frighten anyone. After all, Kling does front other projects, but he mostly just acts as a drummer. The lyrics sometimes come off as a bit weak.

Although Panic Prayer may not feel truly dangerous, it is likely sure to serve as fun fuel for moshers. Panic Prayer may be categorized as easy listening for lovers of brutal music. Yes, this EP does in fact betray its Florida origins. It could be interpreted as having a bit of a pothead feel: “I’m an alien.” With titles like “Final Credits,” Panic Prayer has the flavor of a knowingly cheesy, nevertheless disturbing and enticing, cinematic experience. The cover of Blue Öyster Cult’s trippy “Godzilla” fits in well while also providing a nice moment of amusing contrast. It is an infectious earworm of a number.

Live member Simon McKay of The Agonist can be heard on drums on the four 2022 concert recordings that close Panic Prayer and stretch its length to nearly 29 minutes. This portion of the EP kicks off with the first two songs from Fearsick (2022) and then launches into the opening pair of compositions from Rat°God (2021). Yes, these tracks do feel a bit like filler material, or rather “Recycled Hate.” That said, they complement the rest of the material. Most listeners will view them as welcome bonuses.

Ultimately, Panic Prayer proves a thoroughly solid and highly accessible option to explore this summer. Inhuman Condition provides what most metalheads want to hear. The aggression and promise of “total death” are likely to attract a fair number of supporters. In any case, know that Panic Prayer is an EP that will probably grow on you after a few spins.

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