is probably one of the longer lasting bands still in activity in Poland but yet they never quite really expanded outside their domestic boundaries. While the rest of the world became enthralled with the likes of Vader
remained much of this time in their shadows and while the act has a very decent fanbase in Poland, they never really made it in a worldwide way.
There may be some explanations to this though. Even though they formed back in 1989, it took them some five years to release their debut and if you were âactive" back in 1994
, you ought to remember this wasnât exactly the best of years for an extreme metal band to release its debut. Three years earlier and a more established label might have helped them being pinpointed on the map of metal giants, but history can never be rewritten.
Their occult and sometimes very experimental take on music probably didnât help either. For those acquainted with their earlier releases, itâs hard to fathom that The Zonei
, for instance, would gain recognition with premises of what eventually would be one of last yearâs most controversial albums: Illud Divinum Insanus or, to stick to something more Polish, in the vein of avant-garde masters Tenebris
Still, more than twenty years later, Pandemonium
is still there. With the promotional release soberly entitled âPromo 2010
â featuring two new tracks and the hard work of their management Gods Ov War, people in the scene knew something big would come again from the minds of occult Black Death
. With a hiatus of five years between Hellspawn
, their latest messe noire, fans and new heads were entitled to deserve something big.
For those that had the chance to listen to the Promo 2010
, we start in well known territory as the first two tracks featured are taken off of it. Known but twisted territory as both The Black Forest
Delusion haven been mixed in a different and subtler way than on the promo giving also the leitmotiv of the record to come. Bathed in occult atmospheres, Pandemonium
delivers classy Black Death
metal from the start. And while the Promo tracks were a bit less refined, here they sound like a great start setting the story of what's to come.
plays down to mid-paced Death Metal with a few incursions in Black Metal. The vocals embrace the whole panel displayed in extreme genres but the interlaced intricacy and the production make them sound like a long Sumerian incantation lasting more than 40 minutes. Screamed, whispered or even spoken (in Polish!), vocals are buried within the mix making them an integral part of the songs rather than something above them. In this regard, the treatment is very similar to that of Witchrist
â except the comparison stops only at vocals because musically Pandemonium
and the kiwis are just too far apart.
To add more bits of Orientalism, the band features guest vocals from a female singer giving tracks like Stones are Eternal
or the title track Misanthropy
Arabic accents. Not mentioning the use of a la Far
Eastern keys which give a flavor in between Killing Joke
and Necros Christos
. To those of you that were a bit disappointed with the synth orgy in The Zonei
probably heard the feedback. Keys are now well integrated within the music and contribute to the narrative force of Misanthropy
rather than stand on top of it.
The comparison with Necros Christos
does not stop there either as both bands show that Death Metal is not only about blasting (well, we love those too but here's not the point) but also about atmospheres. And this is in this regard that Pandemonium
graces us with black beauty telling their story even though they havenât released something ultra brutal or fast.
If you like your music bathed in mystical atmospheres, then look no further. You had Doom of the Occult
in 2011 and in 2012
you have Misanthropy
. After 20+ years of presence, Pandemonium
might well have released their masterpiece, their landmark, and earned their own fifteen minutes (or more, so we wish) of fame. As the song says Only the dead will see the end of war, but only the persistent will be praised. Hail Pandemonium