I’m going to propose an alternate theory to the origin of Transport League and their third album, Satanic Panic. In any other era of time or locale of birth, Sweden’s Transport League would’ve been the logical fruition of the metal-core jackhammering of Pro-Pain and ’90s Prong or, at the very worst, pre-success Korn and Deftones. But considering, again, the era of time (1994) and locale (Sweden) the band was birthed, Transport League’s aesthetic takes on a different (and more respectable) light: said year saw Entombed’s Wolverine Blues re-cast the trailblazers of said country’s death metal scene as Sabbath-inspired death metal dudes on downers, now locking more onto slow/deep/hard grooves than frenetic 4/4s. So, any way you do the math (that is, for those of you who don’t believe 2+2=5), you’ll find Transport League plotting a nearly identical course on Satanic Panic.
For all intents and purposes, then, how identical is the question we must ponder with Satanic Panic – hard to say, really. When the quartet finds a menacing but not-too-slow groove as it does on stompers such as “Lord of a Thousand Suns,” “Last,” and the brick-breakin’ opener, “Hell Predicted,” the stomping can be so infectiously headbanging that you cease to forget the derivation, however mild at times. Other times, however, the stench of dubious modernity – hence, the “new metal” tag allotted to Korn-tones and their klones – wafts up from the sewers as it does on “Neckdraft” (undoubtedly, the band’s bid for music video here) and “Psycho Connected.” But fortunate for the traveler weary of such terrain, those times are few and far between; still, you have to scratch your head as to why Transport League would dabble in such trivial pursuits – vocalist/guitarist Tony Jelencovich’s stint in the like-minded B-Thong might provide some insight.
With the above in mind, Satanic Panic renders itself a few bars above middle-tier status – currently there’s no shortage of bands singing the wolverine blues. But with a bit more focus and even more personality, Transport League could be onto bigger, better things; given one or two more records to flesh out their aesthetic, the band could really instigate a true “Satanic panic” (proportions-, not ideal-wise). For the time being, though, this one’s a false alarm.
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