Pantheon of Blood – Tetrasomia

PantheonOfBlod (200x200)Scanning through the many options to review this week, my eyes hovered briefly over the cover of Tetrasomia, Pantheon of Blood’s latest EP, and almost dismissed it. A shining yellow sun on the cover of a Finnish Black Metal album? Hm. Luckily, my curiosity got the better of me, and my worn earholes were soon greeted with Black Metal sounds and an accompanying manifesto as subtle and yes, as colorful as the album’s artwork. For Tetrasomia’s nineteen minutes are filled with riffs and movements that, while Black at their core, are encrusted with quiet nods to classic pagan/Heavy Metal, giving this record’s songs a life and intrigue that smites the banality of most modern BM swirling amidst the underground’s septic tanks. Emboldened by its minimalist, ‘cold’ production, the tenets of Tetrasomia’s Black Metal beset by a barely-there, but undeniable pagan/HM melodicism feed the sinews of this EP’s staying power. That said, while the acoustic intros, old-school chorded downstrokes and rolling tempos of Tetrasomia hint at the band’s ‘epic’ sense, know that Pantheon of Blood are still, strictly speaking, Black Metal without any classifying-dashes. For evidence, you need look no further than the tormented shrieks and esophagus-scarring of vocalist Boreas (?). Arioch’s pained mouth-twists and Attila Csihar’s mournful-moans align with Boreas’s unique, high-pitched goblin-gargles, conspiring together to hold those uninitiated in the Black at bay. And PoB’s lyrical focus foregoes the typical well-worn BM Satani-topics for a discourse of the elements (inspired by Greek philosopher Empedocles’ original studies), all while viewed through the peculiar scope of the Pranic Pulse.

Bands can rehash their aural ancestry, leave said history altogether for other pastures, or engage in some combination of the two. But there is another, arguably harder choice: to stand, feet firmly-planted, at the base of the Past Black Metal monolith, and push it slowly, agonizingly, forward toward growth. On the surface, Pantheon of Blood (and other bands of the mostly ‘trve’, yet still open-minded ilk) may seem little more than stalwart representatives of a sub-genre in its current state and, if their experimentation stems from mere happy accident, perhaps they are. But if we, as listeners, choose a more positive perspective, and take more time to discern what deceptively simple albums like Tetrasomia are actually attempting to do in the face of a nigh-Sisyphean task, we might just be rewarded for our investment of time. -Jim

Eldritch Lunar Miasma

~ by cliftonium on July 24, 2013.

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