Pandemonium – Misanthropy

Pand_Misanth (200x200)In 2012, Poland’s Pandemonium produced Misanthropy, an album sitting squarely at the point where black, death, doom, and just plain ol’ Metal converge. It is a record of shifting sonics best described (as they themselves do) as being ‘dark metal’, coming across as a labor-love of all nefariously distorted heavy hues. Misanthropy’s collection of tracks continuously turn corners each time you think you’ve got a single descriptor for it pinned down. First song ‘Black Forest’ opens with nightmarish throat-singing, foreshadowing the repeating, open-chord occult atmosphere to follow courtesy Pawel Mazur, singer/guitarist/sole original member since Pandemonium’s first appearance in the ’90s. Pawel sews the varying veins of his wide-ranging Metal riffs together with a bile-spewing, sufficiently demonic voice comprised of shrieks, howls, moans and wails all dripping with a sense of power, vengeance and loss. The multiple techniques as one aid and abet his Satanic disposition on ‘Necro Judas’, and drive his message home still further on the plodding doom of ‘Stones Are Eternal’, where the vibrato of Androniki Skoula of Chaostar dances above the bonesaw riff barrage. Next, the cut-and-run punk chords of ‘Avante Garde Underground’ further mystify any record store clerks attempts to file the album, and even if the Misanthropy’s dirt-free/modern mix threatens to turn you off you will still forge ahead, compelled to continue the journey, unsure of where Pandemonium intends on transporting you next. Somehow, the hodgepodge of this record’s styles coalesce into something not easily dismissed, and the Iommi-esque riff energy underlying the aforementioned song (and several others) remains pleasing. Even when, as on ‘Everlasting Opposition’, the band employs chugging triplets and open-chord palm-mutes that these days threaten to bore this writer, the twin-guitar overlay of minor key counter-melodies and tremolo-picking prevent thoughts of the more knuckle-dragging strains of Metal coming to mind. As a result, by the time Skoula returns with great Middle-Eastern effect on the closing title-track, the lava-death metal guitars no longer need help carrying you back down the dark mountain of Metal.

Though Misanthropy’s sound may have benefited from a chillier production, cooling it’s concoction into a spectrum more suited to a frozen Luciferian intent, nevertheless Pandemonium have proven on their first full-length in five years that one can maneuver dissimilar types of Metal into something capable of displaying a passion for the whole of this music’s pallette. -Jim

Pagan Records

~ by cliftonium on October 30, 2013.

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