Nov. 18th M-Theory Audio will reissue Pacific Northwest thrashers PANIC’s debut album ‘Epidemic.’ The Seattle group’s 1991 release, originally issued by Metal Blade Records, was produced by the H-Team of classic EXODUS guitar duo Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt, mixed by Marc Senesac (Exodus, Sacrilege B.C.) and featuring cover artwork by Sean Wyett (Devastation, Cyclone Empire). This special anniversary edition, intended for reissue last year to celebrate the 30th mark but due to pressing plant delays instead celebrates 31, comes in revamped packaging including a 4-panel insert with liner notes, extra photos, flyers and a special code to download a copy of the band’s previous 3-song demo. Pre-orders for the upcoming reissue, limited to 300 copies on Outbreak Green vinyl, are available now at https://www.smarturl.com/panicseattle
“The band is stoked to be partnering with M-Theory to bring ‘Epidemic’ into the 21st Century,” states singer Jeff Braimes. “Marco and his team have been great to work with, and we’re as excited as anyone to hold the finished product in our hands.”
Formed in Seattle, WA in the mid-‘80s PANIC started out playing NWOBHM covers before writing originals that were heavier and groovier than their influences and defining their own sound and growing an audience over the course of four years gigging around and gaining local radio play. The band’s big break came in 1990 with a showcase at the Northwest Area Music Convention where EXODUS (and later SLAYER) guitarist Gary Holt was in attendance. Gary, and their then-manager Toni Isabella, took the band under their wing that night and the stage was set for PANIC to record their breakout thrash masterpiece ‘Epidemic.’
Signed to Metal Blade Records, PANIC entered San Francisco’s famed Alpha & Omega Studio (owned by Sandy Pearl, manager of Blue Oyster Cult who recorded there, as well as thrash acts like Forbidden and Vio-lence) and together with the H-Team and engineer/mixer Marc Senesac their debut was captured. The album even includes a cover of the KISS classic “I Stole Your Love” with guest vocals from EXODUS singer Steve “Zetro” Souza. Upon release their video for “Blackfeather Shake” (https://youtu.be/mm2B46Zf88U) received MTV Headbangers Ball airplay, praiseworthy press came in from publications like Rip and Rolling Stone and the band spent time on the road touring in support of Coroner, Nuclear Assault, Pantera, Testament and Reverend.
Re-live the past with one of the finer thrash records of the early ‘90s, before Seattle become recognized for grunge and the promising next generation of heavy bands from there while promising acts like Panic, Bitter End and Forced Entry all faded in relative obscurity but are now primed for rediscovery and appreciation.
Jeff Braimes – vocals
Martin Chandler – guitars (now of Supersuckers)
George Hernandez – bass (now in Sanctuary)
Jack Coy – drums