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An Enjoyably Cold and Hateful Debut - 88%

Loss 96, October 22nd, 2014

On the whole I'm not really into blisteringly fast music. My days of listening to technical death metal are well behind me, and the faster more traditional black metal bands such as 1349, Marduk, Dark Funeral just don't really grab me. I generally like my back metal to be mid paced and atmospheric, but every so often an album of an intense speed and technical ability with just the right amount of atmosphere will come along and click with me, and 'Disease by Humanity' by 'Paimonia' is one of them.

Paimonia play a style of dissonant blackened death metal which immediately conjure up the images of desolation and coldness that adorn the album art. This is made clear by the opening track ‘As Plague Scourges the World Apart’ which crescendos from eerie dissonance into a barrage of blast beats and technical riffing. This feeling of harshness and hatred is maintained throughout the album, but it varies in the way this feeling is delivered.

The third track ‘Ruined from Catharsis utilizes a sinisterly beautiful acoustic intro with some Spanish overtones which creates a brief moment of tension in the album as the listener awaits the next aural assault. I personally would’ve liked to have heard more moments like this album, but that is really just based on my personal taste, and there is quite a lot of really nice acoustic work on this album. The following track ‘Depth within Nothingness Called Life’ has this really nice melodic interlude nice section that comes in around the 2:36 mark which followed by this absolutely beautiful violin melody (I’m really sorry if it’s actually a viola. My knowledge of string instruments is awful) backed by acoustic guitars, which gives the song a really ghostly feel, but for me this section was a bit too short lived. I would’ve personally extended it a bit longer. There are also a lot of insanely fast sections on this album, which would usually put me off a band, but the regular use of dissonance provides the album with an overarching ambiance which kept me engaged.

The album ends with a melancholic instrumental entitled ‘Opus VII (Through the Endless Phantosmagoria). This consists of reverbed guitars playing over an acoustic guitar accompaniment which echoes back to B.V’s work with ‘Elsewhere Shine’. I thought this was a really nice way to end a pretty hate fuelled album and it’s the track that I’ve found myself listening to the most recently.

The overall sound on this album is pretty good. The levels on this album are just about perfect. I really like the fact that you can actually hear the bass on this album which tends to get lost in the mix quite a lot with this type of music. The guitars are really trebly which gives the album it’s harsh sound and It also gives the guitar sound an old school black metal feel. The drums sounded really good to me, my only complaint is that I would’ve liked to have heard a bit more punch on the kick drum just to make the blast beats a bit more intense, but this is really just a minor thing.

The technical ability on this album is absolutely superb. Everything on this album is played with a high degree of proficiency. There are some really impressive riffs on this album and the regular use of dissonance really helps maintain the atmosphere. And as for the drums, well all I can say is wow. I’m not a drummer, so it doesn’t take a lot to impress me, but even I can tell this guy has some serious chops. I’m afraid I can’t go into much technical detail, but if you’re an extreme metal drummer, I really recommend this album for its great drum parts. The only thing that i wasn't really into was the vocals. I thought they were a bit expressionless and lacked in variation, but I think they are really just there to carry forward the misanthropic theme of this album and the real depth of this full length is in the instrumentation.

This is a pretty impressive debut full length from Serbia’s Paimonia and I'm looking forward to what they have in store for the future. Not only does it do a fine job of ripping your head off, but also provides some hauntingly beautiful moments. If you’re looking for something fast and furious with a bit of atmosphere, then this is the album for you.

Devoid - 55%

DemonFeces, August 26th, 2014

edit: I wrote some tongue-biting bullshit that was so bad I had to go back to my original thoughts concerning how I got a hold of this recording. I was approached via email to write this review by the man himself, BV. I first thought, "wow why did he chose me?" When I checked out the MA band page, it dawned on me. So, as with most things, I questioned the point behind handing out your material for free to achieve a large number of good reviews. Maybe because they could only afford 100 cassette copies? But then it's kvlt, man! Now I'm thinking maybe BV sent me shit copy because I don't agree with
most of the reviews.

First off, there are way too fuckin' many high notes ringing out in all of the songs. You might not notice upon initial listen but 2 tracks deep it will smack you upside the head. Resurgence of Malice in particular. Every three seconds that same-sounding, open, ringing string(s) occurs. When it finally stops, it is replaced by a boring 'breakdown' devoid of any texture or feeling before it's right back into what plagued the first 3 minutes of this horrible song. The opening track is also severely affected by this annoyance.

Length of the songs is a concern for these guys. Shorter tracks with more sharp edges, corrosive elements might liven things up a bit so as not to induce coma in the listener. Every cut is over 5 minutes except the closer which is shy by about thirteen seconds. To follow up ..Malice there's 8 minutes of go-nowhere sameness by the name of Funeral Of Decaying World that just blurs into a big clump of forgettable nothingness.

Those hoping for some scorching leads will be sorely disappointed. This kid is capable of them, I think, evidenced by the meandering reverb-soaked guitar on closer Opus VII [the best track, by the way]. But as far as song-to-song is concerned, there's only a tiny morsel of one in Contagion Through Aeons. Otherwise, they're just not there. Was this a stylistic choice? I'm not sure. It's something that has hampered their sound though.

These guys are young and they have talent. But this lacks just about everything that makes harsh music exciting. The vocals are buried and have no venom. The drums just steamroll on by without fills, nuances, etc. The artwork is uninspired and bland. Maybe some criticism will incite a more fiery release next time around.

Outstanding Début from Serbia - 85%

farrrkas9, August 26th, 2014

Being from the Balcanic region myself, I witnessed over the time how fans and critiques used to lower their expectations with bands from the area in terms of quality of the production and skill of the musicians. These flaws were considered forgivable sins as the industry was still in its infancy over here and musicians often struggled with the costs of proper equipment among other things. Consequently, they were destined to be banished – often justifiably – to a different league, inferior to the ones who came from more developed countries. As circumstances changed, endeavor to improve quality became more perceptible, and more and more bands now contribute to crushing the old image, proving that today’s bands have risen to the challenges in all respects, and they ought to be viewed through the same filters as, for example, their Scandinavian peers. One such proof is Paimonia.

Both members, Bojan Vukoman, the brains behind the project, and Nikola Pacek-Vetnic, drummer, are unquestionably skilled musicians, and with their début, Disease Named Humanity, they have and probably will acquire a lot of serious attention on the scene. I was astonished to hear the production so professionally accomplished. At the age of 20, B.V. has established high standards for himself as far as quality is concerned. I cannot but praise the instrumentation of the record. The raspy guitar sound, the palpable bass guitar, and the powerful and distinct drumming make it clear from the first few seconds that these guys take things seriously. I am not in favor of music made out of fun for the sake of entertainment; I seek earnestness, profoundness and total devotion in music. The latter is evident on Disease Named Humanity, where one can spot the honest determination and enthusiasm imbued in each song; there is no doubt, these musicians are absorbed in what they do.

Paimonia mainly combine traditional Scandinavian black metal with dissonant death metal harmonies. The main emphasis is on scrapy, rugged discords mastered impressively by B. V. aiming to attain originality. Dissonant guitar riffs, tremolo-picking, blastbeats and abrasive blackened vocals would do little without the ability to fuse them into memorable, biting songs. In terms of songwriting Paimonia also stand out with, although not staggering, but still, powerful pieces with pervasive atmosphere. There are abundant subtleties that speak not only of talent and skill, but of intelligence as well. By this I mean that B.V. knows exactly what a song needs in order to gain character, and knows how to utilize and implement the diverse elements naturally and effectively.

Contagion Through Aeons, for instance, took me unawares with a gripping twisted riff, and with the beautiful solo toward the end. One of the most persuasive songs is Ruined Form Catharsis with its imposing acoustic guitars throughout, melodious, yet powerful riffs, and exciting segues. In fact, variety is one of Paimonia’s feats; each song consists of manifold potent solutions, harmonies, melodies, changes of tempo, breaks, and so on, forming one organic whole, which is at the very least creditable. The guitar break in Funeral of Decaying World reflects perfectly the misanthropic atmosphere of the record. I wish it lasted longer. Opus VII, an instrumental track, pertinently ends the fierce 40 minutes with emotive melodies. The impact of the ambiance is worthy of note as well, coming mostly from the tonal character of the guitar and B. V.’s visceral ideas. Behind the drum kit, N.P.V.’s performance is exciting and diversified, which contribute significantly to the quality of the songs.

The title of the album does not leave anyone wondering what the lyrics are about. This kind of loathing blends well with the dissonant tunes, no doubt. However, I feel that in order to reflect this misanthropy perfectly, the music needs to break away more daringly from traditions established long ago by at least two generations of black metal bands. The album endeavors successfully toward authenticity in many ways, but I also feel that a great deal of potentially sick approach is still on the leash. Descending deeper into misery would result in even fewer conventions employed and even stronger atmosphere of discomfort created. The violin used in Depth Within Nothingness Called Life, although beautiful and well implanted, deviates from the spiky mood, and disrupts the integrity of the record. With the talent proved marvelously on this album, Paimonia have the potential to take all aspects to a level higher, and closer to shaping the band’s own identity.

Nevertheless, Disease Named Humanity is an album many other bands with far more experience would be proud to have. More than promising.

Paimonia - Disease Named Humanity - 95%

TempleofDarknessReviews, August 17th, 2014

In 2011, a man known as B.V. started a project that would eventually become Paimonia. In 2013, a drummer was recruited, making this a two man band of destruction. That same year, Paimonia gave birth to their first full length album, Disease Named Humanity. Hanging around 40 minutes in length, Disease Named Humanity is a dark, angry, and violent release with touches of happiness thrown in.

If you have delved into black metal history just a tiny bit, chances are you have heard of a band named Dissection. Dissection was a unique black metal band that played a version of black metal with death metal overtones. Paimonia reminds me of old school Dissection a lot! The black metal is evident in every track and if you weren’t listening closely, you’d claim that this is typical black metal but it is so much more. There are elements of death metal scattered throughout and while the two genres are quite close, they have some major differences that set them apart, some of which can be heard within Disease Named Humanity.

First off, the drumming does not stick to a typical black metal pattern. Paimonia utilizes death metal patterns while drumming to change up the style a little bit. It isn’t a radical difference and it might go un-noticed sometimes. The sound of the drums throughout the album is quite astounding. The cymbals stick out and accent the other parts of the kit quite well. The kick and snare are extremely powerful and driving. The guitar tone is quite unique and mystifying. Describing what I mean is tough, but within 30 seconds you can hear what I am talking about. Looking past that, the guitar player is extremely skilled. The acoustic passages that occasionally introduce the next track are well written and well executed. The use of harmonics along with the acoustic melody is an interesting touch, one that is not heard so often especially in metal. The vocals are very strong and assertive. The nice part about them is that they lay back and let the music speak for itself a lot. They are not overpowering or in the way of anything else, leaving the music to shine along with the vocals.

A lot of bands don’t have the skills or experience to pull off such an excellent first full length record, but Paimonia sure did it! They came out of the gate swinging and have set the bar high for themselves. Who knows what the future holds for Paimonia, but if it is more of what we heard in Disease Named Humanity, I would be more than pleased.

Originally written for Temple of Darkness webzine
http://templeofdarknessreviews.blogspot.com/

Perfect Discord - 88%

Karu_slug, August 5th, 2014

Discord and chaos are the two most prominent features of this album. The album begins with an uneasy, clashing rise of guitars, perfectly setting the mood for what is to come. Discordance is inherently unpleasant to listen to in most cases, but throughout this masterpiece of an album, it is is used ingeniously, making the riffs just that much more serpentine, making the heavily blackened vocals seem almost beautiful in comparison and weaving a disturbed tone throughout each and every song. 

I personally seek skilled and complex songwriting over catchy riffs and choruses, so after only one or two listens, I fell in love with this album. Be warned, this is NOT an easy listen. Your ears and mind will be challenged throughout, the intricate subtleties possibly seeming strange from a style that appears so blunt at first a first listen, but after you figure out the beautifully demonic riffs, after you learn to embrace its sheer ruggedness, you will find yourself surrounded by the sounds of musical brilliance like never before. 

It takes a great deal of bravery and skill to so effectively embrace the things that many would initially find repulsive or even terrifying, and that is precisely what Paimonia has achieved in this album. Every note tells a story of misery and confusion, each strained scream from the vocalist conjuring images of death and sadness, every leaden chord seeming to drive the listener further into the dirt. The string section in the fourth track is slightly off-key, but it coalesces with the evil, snakelike guitar riff below to create something that feels like we should hate, but it somehow draws us further in. The drums throughout, while nothing particularly unusual for the genre, add a sense of panic to the slower, more sinister nature of the guitars and vocals. 

Production quality is, thankfully, quite decent. I feel that some of the finer details would be lost if it were to follow traditionalist black metal culture and record the album on something on-par with a potato. There are many complexities in the guitar work that are partially hidden by the distortion, leaving the ear to pick up on them a little late. I, personally, feel it loses a little intricacy due to this, but it could be debated that this adds to the discord and chaos.

All in all, this is an album for the band to be exceptionally proud of. While it may not appeal to the masses, any musician, songwriter or individual who can appreciate complexity and musicianship in the genre will understand the true beauty of Paimonia's album, Disease Named Humanity.

Like a disease set to tear apart humanity - 82%

the_bard_of_osyrhia, June 29th, 2014

Paimonia is a Serbian black metal outfit performing in the discordant, angular end of the genre. Disease Named Humanity is their debut album and it demonstrates the power of a band single-willed and determined in their quest to eviscerate their listeners' ears with a fierce metal assault. In other reviews comparisons have been drawn to black metal legends Emperor and this is an influence that I can certainly hear in the music of Paimonia. However, their technically proficient guitarwork, jagged, biting atmosphere and often progressively structured songs also make me think of lesser known acts such as Vehementer Nos as well as the French black metal scene's experimental luminaries: Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord.

The album starts as it means to go on with the frenzied and intense As Plague Scourge This World Apart. This song shows Paimonia at their most vicious with unremitting blastbeats, incisive yet melodic guitarwork and only one moment of respite in the form of a lush acoustic interlude which is interrupted quickly by yet more aggressive attacking from the band. This nicely sets the tone for the album which deals primarily in misanthropic and apocalyptic black metal with progressive and melodic undertones.

Paimonia's impressive solo guitarwork particularly stands out in songs such as Contagion Through Aeons with a glorious and rousing guitar solo halfway through the song that would be the envy of many a melodic metal band. There are also highly progressive moments such as the jazzy guitar intro to Ruined Form Catharsis which seems reminiscent of Opeth and Akercocke. This jazzy guitar is later to return near the end of the song in which it is played over an unforgiving blastbeat giving off a feel not dissimilar to jazz metal heavyweights Ephel Duath's complicated works. The influence of that classic progressive band Opeth is also shown in the masterful highlight Depth Within Nothingness Called Life.

The aforementioned Depth Within Nothingness Called Life deserves specific analysis in that it seems to me the ultimate achievement of Paimonia and certainly the highlight of the album. Within its six minutes and ten seconds multiple styles are contained and brilliantly woven together like an age old tapestry. Paimonia move from furious and driving blasting to a jazzy Opethian clean section and swiftly into the melodic and doomy feel of a mournful violin playing over progressive guitarwork. This then segues into blasting once more and the song comes together as an expansive and genre-hopping work.

Having mentioned the highly impressive guitarwork many times already in this review I feel that the other instruments should not be left out. The unstoppable assault of the drummer is particularly awe-inspiring as he lays the ground for all of the multi-directional music that is contained on this album. The drums switch style and change direction seemingly as easily as a beginner would play a song by a band as simple as Nirvana as the drummer shows skill at blasting, skiffle beats and everything in between.

Aside from some grammar errors caused by the band not being of English-speaking descent the songtitles represent the dark, nihilistic and apocalyptic imagery that Paimonia choose for their music. This may be nothing new in the consistently extreme and often misanthropic genre of black metal but Paimonia succeed in continuing this time-honoured tradition expertly.

The length of forty minutes is ideal for an album in this style, with anything over that perhaps not allowing the breathing space for all of this technicality and ferocity to be taken in. Ultimately, Disease Named Humanity is an aurally intense example of experimental and progressive black metal that takes influence from the greats of the genre and continues down the left hand path of discordant and involving music. It will take a fair few listens for the album to fully yield its detailed content to the listener but those listens are well worth embarking on.

Apocalyptic Black - 80%

Gespenster, June 29th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Humanity's Plague Productions (Limited edition)

Serbian black metal project Paimonia formed in 2011 in Novi Sad, headed by multi-musician Bojan Vukoman. After releasing their first EP "Modern Way of Distraction" the following year, the band went on to unleash their debut full-length in 2013 entitled "Disease Named Humanity."

The musicianship this record demonstrates is quite impressive. Everything from the resonant vocals to the wicked guitar play to the complex drumming teems with potency and expertise. On top of being well-performed, however, the musicianship is also well-utilized. The songs are structured in a way that provides a lot of dynamic and musical talent while remaining concise. In terms of instrumentation and substance, "Disease Named Humanity" manages to succeed on both accounts.

Nikola Pacek-Vetnic, the band's drummer, also did the mixing and engineering for this album. His sound production gives the music a lot of haunting ambiance to make its dark impact even stronger. Simultaneously, though, the mixing balances out perfectly because the profuse amount of atmosphere doesn't compromise the crispness of the vocals and instruments. The mixing is easily one of the "Disease Named Humanity's" most advantageous aspects.

This album's other best element, however, would have to be the its third song "Ruined Form Catharsis," as it demonstrates everything that this release accomplishes to its fullest. It makes a broodingly subtle entrance with some atmospherically depressive guitar plucking, but soon afterwards explodes into a black metal vortex. Its potent levels of dynamic and masterful usage of musicianship definitely make this particular song the best in the record's business.

While there isn't quite enough to this release to render it a masterpiece, "Disease Named Humanity" is still a very well-crafted black metal specimen. It has a lot of atmosphere and great musicianship on top of some very engaging song-writing as well. Black metal fans are firmly recommended to this record, and outsiders of black metal might find something to enjoy as well. Judging from this album, Paimonia is well on their way to creating something else even more diabolical.


Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/

For the Emperor! - 64%

ConorFynes, June 16th, 2014

People are prone and welcome to argue, but I don't think there was another band to come out of the Norwegian Second Wave that was as great as Emperor. Whereas other black metal acts of the time often tried to convey that tense miasma via chainsaw production or an explicit focus on atmosphere, Emperor assaulted the listener with aggressive technique and dissonant finesse, the likes of which would prove (in my opinion) to be far more interesting musically than most of their more primal contemporaries. Technique and dissonance in black metal have since been taken to their natural conclusions by bands like Deathspell Omega, but there's still something special about Emperor's style. I hear strong currents of that sound in Paimonia, a far more recent outfit from Serbia. The same technical skill, chaotic aggression and atmosphere are here in full on Disease Named Humanity, and while I'm certain a more forward-thinking approach would have done more to impress me, Paimonia are off to a strong start with this debut.

Although Emperor are undoubtedly the central influence for Paimonia, comparisons might be made to others in the Scandinavian canon. The melodic phrasing and effective chord progressions of Dissection come readily to mind, although Paimonia often let technique and reverence of the unholy (and done to death) tritone dictate their songwriting. Nikola Pacek-Vetnic is listed as a full-time drummer for Paimonia, but it's essentially the brainchild of Bojan Vukoman, who plays guitar, bass and just about everything else on Disease Named Humanity. As it so happens, Vukoman is an excellent guitarist. He's found a strong balance of clarity and viciousness in the guitar tone, and the riffs are challenging. As a vocalist, the influence of Emperor is even more apparent; his voice sounds an injured animal is howling through a layer of phlegm. Vukoman definitely seems to have mirrored himself in the image of Ihsahn on Disease Named Humanity. He does, however, do it excellently on all fronts.

The guitars lean towards the same biting treble as we've heard in the genre's past, although the clear production does seem to give the album a modern feel. Dissonance was clearly a big keyword when the album was on the drawing board, although the abrasiveness is kept on a short leash in favour of keeping things clear. Although the derivative style might curtail Paimonia's potential overall, it's the songwriting that feels weakest here. Disease Named Humanity starts off on a strong note with "As Plague Scourge This World Apart", but virtually every song thereafter becomes less impressive. A notable exception to this is "Depth Within Nothingness Called Life", which breathes some fresh life into the music with a violin arrangement. Barring that, I don't think the songs on the album get progressively worse so much as the listener becomes dreadfully accustomed to the small bag of tricks Paimonia offers in the writing. Especially given the fact that most of us listening have heard this tricks executed countless times before with the Second Wave classics, it's pretty difficult to stay attentive by the end of the album.

Paimonia may struggle with finding an identity of their own, but it doesn't dissuade the fact that Disease Named Humanity is an excellently executed album that willingly takes on the challenge of continuing the style of one of the genre's best acts. Given the shallow palette Paimonia are currently offering with regards to songwriting, Disease Named Humanity can be as frustrating at times as it is impressive, and it is an impressive album. It's just clear that Paimonia has some work to do before their vision is up to par with the way they deliver it.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical

Disease Named Adequacy - 69%

Apteronotus, June 11th, 2014

Paimonia’s “Disease Named Humanity” is a 2013 album that combines black metal dissonance to a Dissection styled approach to the genre. The crispness of the production and overall quality makes Naglfar a more likely comparison however, as the band suffers from problems of monotony and sterility. While the first song starts off fairly strong with a style of songwriting that is reminiscent of Mayhem’s “Chimera,” the album then immediately degrades fairly evenly with each track and by the last track the album commands no attention.

Homogeneous, samey riffs are a common problem on “Disease Named Humanity” and the major reason for this that the two-man band loses its drive by getting hung up on its own dissonance. A lot of minor second and diminished chords are interjected into more standard tremolo picking and arpeggiated chords.You’ll note that in the first track, low and high notes are quickly shuffled back and forth to create an effective pummeling that is really engaging because these two threads weave together. As the album passes along this becomes less true and the songs maintain this pattern but start sounding like the directionless buzzing of bees hovering around their disturbed nest. The guitars are more focused on dextrously dancing up and down their necks than creating songs, which makes the release very much a guitar player’s project - just one that isn’t laden with guitar solos or named after its author.

Much of the album has the disorienting feel that you get with diminished and dissonant melodies, but too much of that disorientation stems from a lack of songwriting focus. The album has some good moments and nothing on it is truly bad other than a few clumsy attempts at cheap variation. The problem is that the unfocused blur doesn’t leave any lasting impression as each riff starts to feel interchangeable, like hearing commentary on routine sports plays. Some higher chord is arpeggiated then some low notes shift before we hear a high part again, then cue tremolo riff and so on. While secondary to the guitar, the vocals echo this problem. While they could have been used to bring cohesion and direction to messy and directionless song structures they fall into their own narrow formula and never command much attention while the rest of the instrumentation commands even less. With the vocals, the issue is one that is all too common of a problem in death metal - very narrow melodic range and delivery. These elements are stifled by the same precise vocal approach that allows for some clarity and power while sacrificing the sense of energy. Think of a less awful version of latter-day Ihsahn mixed with standard modern melodic black metal vocals.

Classical guitar, awkward violin, and a massively directionless outro do nothing to resolve the album’s lack of focus and only serve to highlight the band’s lack of variation and direction. The instrumental outro in particular is completely unnecessary and so poorly integrated with the ideas from earlier in the album that it is hard to get through. The penultimate song, “Funeral Of Decaying World” already had a clear conclusion, so “Opus VII” comes across as padding and more guitar player unbuttoned-shirt-solo-project stuff. Thankfully, directionlessness isn’t the worst problem a band can have, especially when the band is clearly capable of good songwriting like we have some examples of here. This album is fine to listen to, just nothing that you’d routinely seek out. Recently, I had a slice of pizza. I like pizza, and that slice was good, but I won’t remember it a year from now. “Disease Named Humanity” is that slice, adequate, consumable, but devoid of a lasting sense of identity in a world filled with countless slices of melodic dissonant black pizz— I mean metal.

Originally written for Contaminated Tones.

Redundant - 75%

VilliThorne, June 7th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Humanity's Plague Productions (Limited edition)

Paimonia is a derivative of Paimon, one of the many Kings of Hell and one of the most loyal to Lucifer; a perfect name for a black metal band. The duo of Paimonia hail from Serbia, and have been indulging in their dark arts together since 2011. The year following their formation they released a four track EP titled Modern Way of Distraction, and have now followed up with their first full-length, Disease Named Humanity.

With so many new black metal acts relying on a myriad of tremolo scales and double bass infused blast beats, it's almost always refreshing to hear new material from the genre that doesn't include these features in abundance. Unfortunately, Disease Named Humanity is not one of these revitalizing endeavors, but instead succumbs to the same fate in a different way. The principle of disappointment still lays within the guitar and drums, in that they both stagnate themselves by relying on redundant techniques that become mundane and lose their early instilled charm less than halfway through the content.

The guitar preys on diminished sounds, not necessarily as full blown chords but rather a picking of the chord strings in a disorienting order to create twisted arrangements; mixed in are also hard, quick one-strum riffs that have queerly placed rests. This type of composure works well for the first couple of tracks, however the listener will soon clue in that this style will create the mainframe and internal body of the rest of the content. Some of the tracks have acoustics incorporated into them, for instance "Ruined from Catharsis" begins with a classical acoustic arrangement with a slight Spanish influence; this element also appears again later into the track where it becomes mixed in with a sudden burst of volume that overpowers the other instruments. "Opus VII (Through the Endless Phantasmagoria)" is the most unique of the songs to appear here, being an instrumental comprised entirely out of atmosphere and an acoustic guitar.

Falling in with the same issues that plague the guitar, the drums are constantly weighted with rapid double bass kicks and tons of blast beats with quick odes to other kit elements whenever the drummer feels like branching out to smack the hi-hat and toms. The double bass fills nearly the entirety of the background, for almost the full longevity of the album; the only exception being when the tempos slow down, but often the drums are taken out of the picture completely when this happens. Going from hasty to placid, the tempo changes happen often and in nearly every song, making them easy to predict further into the album. The only aspect of this content that cannot be predicted and that doesn't become monotonous are the vocals, which are full of passionate energy as they exert shrill, ghostly wails.

Unfortunately the content that lays within Disease Named Humanity is too stagnant, causing the tracks to be too similar to one another. Paimonia have an awesome sound that's unique, they just need to be able to harness this power and utilize more creative compositions. The tempo changes occur at the same time among a track listing where every song is almost the same length; this causes the predictability to skyrocket and make the material lose it's charm. As well, the rare inclusion of acoustic material does little to offset the redundancy of the same guitar and drum techniques that are used endlessly.

Digital Download Provided by: Paimonia

- Villi Thorne
www.VolumesofSin.net

Impressive Sounds - 84%

Arjunthebeast, June 5th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Humanity's Plague Productions (Limited edition)

The popularity of heavy metal in all its forms is staggering. What also impresses is the borderless nature of its appeal, as there will probably always be pockets of intellectual or emotional dissent expressed through aggravated musical genres. Places as diverse as Central Europe and the Balkans have proven a place of cultural exchange for millennia. That being said, there aren't a lot of metal bands that come to mind when Serbia is mentioned (although Serbians and fans of worldwide regional scenes would probably beg to differ), but Death/Black metal newcomers Paimonia have gathered a bit of attention with their release of their first full length in 2013, entitled a 'Disease Named Humanity.' It is a solid album that takes some of the better aspects of death metal and its cousin black metal and combines them into a well performed and surprisingly cohesive work. The album sounds like the work of a much more experienced band and surprises time and time again throughout (Their 2012 EP also impresses).

Simply put, the production is fantastic, crystal clear and lush, the way a polished album of this sub-genre should be. All instrumental elements are accounted for in their respective roles, with much variation in tempo and creative uses. The overall atmosphere comes within range of comparison to Emperor's brand of "Extreme Metal" that came about over that band's latter years. Even the vocals are somewhat similar to Ihsahn's rasp (including the cadence), which probably signals some sort of vocal discomfort for Bojan Vukoman, whom also expertly handles all other instruments excluding percussion. Said vocals could potentially be broken up or varied by placing them in context of more fast paced or slowed moments in the tracks. This could add to the already impressive amount of dynamism that occurs over the running time. This is my personal taste, but perhaps a bit of chaotic technical death metal or some obscured production methods of rawer or more orthodox black metal could do the trick in taking the instrumentation to the next level. Special kudos is due to the extremely athletic and energetic drum performance of Nikola Pacek-Vetnic. Strong and solid blast beats (that snare!) are alternated with creative fills and the tried and true d-beats of yesteryear's death metal and crust.

Seven strong tracks of complicated and intriguing material are the result. A standout, "Depth Within Nothingness Called Life" ends up being one of the stronger selections for the reason that it develops and transitions well between its individual elements, and then really hits a nerve with an excellently place violin piece that expertly shifts the mood of the work. Sensitive use of guitar effects flirt with post-metal, making the album all the more contemporary amid its traditionalist bent. The penultimate "Funeral of Decaying World" is another excellent work that blends excellent reverbed guitar phrases into a dirge that reflects the lyrical ideas presented.

Decayed world...
Lies deep in the womb of universe
Collapsed, rotten, infested through thorns of time
Swallowed by evil of gene that rots in same
The cure to heal the wounds - the burial of men.

The lyrics rely on some of the usual tropes associated with metal. General feelings of hatred towards mankind and the worsening condition of the environment are immediately relatable (this author has finally gotten around to viewing Earth Maiden Arjuna recently for instance), but what about some more immediate issues that effect the lives of the musicians themselves? What could strengthen the powerful words is perhaps a bit more specificity in their intent. While the current geo-political context of the region of Serbia has been well documented through the media coverage of the 1990's Balkan conflicts, what do intelligent, creative individuals like Vokuman and his compatriots have to say on the matter? What is going on in that region that inspires misanthropy of this kind (aside from the universal reasons of course!)? It is a bit arrogant to ask an artist to answer such questions, but extreme metal (and related genres) are formidable in their cerebral handling of weighty topics.

There is much promise here.

OLD SCHOOL BLACK/DEATH METAL WITH A MODERN EDGE! - 83%

prometeus, May 28th, 2014

When it comes to listening new black metal records, I'm quite skeptical, because I don't really like to hear copy-cats or just crappy original "efforts". This one surprised me in a good way, with its new take on the classics. Some say that it's a Dissection cover band, which is not entirely false; others, that it's mainly Swedish black/death metal oriented, which again, I don't see it as a really accurate statement. I would say that this album is a reflection of what would have been if the second wave black metal bands would have had access to quality production and mastering from the beginning.

First, speaking of the production, I like it. Everything is listenable, the drums have just the right amount of triggers, there is room for the bass guitar, and you can almost distinguish the two guitars, even when one of them is playing an acoustic part, while the other one is distorted. The mixing could have been better, but it's really not a big deal.

The vocals almost sound like Insahn, from a technical point of view, with the exception of the screaming parts, which are more traditional and primal. It makes for a cool contrast and adds some diversity. I didn't really care for the lyrics though, as the subjects have been used before, and bands like Dimmu Borgir ( SBD ) and Mayhem (Chimera ) came to my mind, especially considering the pompous titles and some of the guitar riffs.

The instrumentation is solid, with the compositions almost top notch. The idea of starting slow is good on a few songs, mainly around the middle of the album, when you need a brake from the violence coming out from the speakers, but not on most of them. Also, taste wise, when I hear an album opening slow, if I know it's not doom, classical, or progressive metal, it kind of puts me off, and that's why I prefer Dark Funeral over Burzum any day. But when the intense parts kick in, then it's great: the drums hold the rhythms tight, with plenty blast beats, double bass, and no moments of sloppiness or laziness, while the guitars play dissonant chords almost incessantly, occasionally changing to the old school tremolo melodies. The exception is the last track, which is instrumental, where the acoustic guitars take the lead, while the only solo on the album makes a brief appearance, adding a neoclassical layer.

The band's influences regarding the guitar riffs seem to me obvious, with Blasphemer era Mayhem, just a hint of Burzum, Dissection (like every listener says here, I guess), and Emperor. It just seems that the music is very old school oriented, with only a few moments of original outstandingness, such as the five minute mark on Funeral of Decaying World (already one of my all-time personal favorites) or the last track. Also, the violin part is very well placed, although I think that it became somewhat of a trend to use it on an extreme metal record. Anyway, it's nice to see that the band it's open minded, and I hope there will be more surprises like these in the future.

The atmosphere deserves a special attention. The dissonant guitar chords are quite prevalent, so at times it feels a bit repetitive, just like Chimera . Ironically, their shining moment is on the said Funeral of Decaying World , where in the middle of it they are left alone, playing a droning riff. It's very sinister and imaginative, taking Ancient Skin to a whole new and extreme level.

In conclusion, the band is very competent and has a great potential. I wonder if they will tone down the experimentation or they will increase it, because I can not see them staying the same if they want to remain interesting. This one is recommended to hear!

Paimonia - Disease Named Humanity - 85%

EyesOfGlass, May 22nd, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Humanity's Plague Productions (Limited edition)

Whenever someone thinks of black metal, the first countries that come to mind are Norway, Sweden or Finland with bands such as Emperor, Darkthrone or Impaled Nazarene, or even Greece, with acts like Rotting Christ or Varathron. In this case, we will talk about Paimonia, a band that comes from Serbia and shows a quality level that is not always present in bands considerably bigger than this project.

Proving that geographic conditions represent no obstacle at all, Paimonia comes off as a black metal band highly, and I mean, highly influenced by death metal, something that can be mainly heard in the guitar parts, which without putting aside the black metal essence, show a strong influence of death metal. Talking about the guitars, Bojan Vukoman shows very good songwriting skills, since the songs, without straying too far away from the genre, don’t end up being tedious or boring. The inclusion of acoustic guitar parts, not only as intros or outros to the songs, as can be seen in tracks like Ruined from Catharsis, add a lot of freshness to the compositions, which combined with the already well-thought-out structures of the songs, results in a really interesting ride throughout the album. Another strong part of the band is their drummer, Nikola Pacek-Vetnik, who demonstrates impeccable double bass skills as well as a great endurance and consistency while playing. Another good thing is that he’s not blasting 24/7, instead, he adjusts properly to the songs with some nice fills and patterns that contribute to the tightness of the compositions.

This album has some more nice features that need to be analyzed. Paimonia’s lyrics are about nihilism and misanthropy, about the fall of this evil race that is known as men. The instrumentation, specially the acoustic guitars and the production of the album, in conjuction with the lyrics, contribute to create a really sinister atmosphere that haunts each of the seven songs in it. What’s more, the song “Depth Within Nothingness Called Life” includes a violin, courtesy of Andrijana Rajic, that adds a haunting and eerie feel to the music and the overall atmosphere. I also want to highlight the last track, Opus VII (Through the Endless Phantasmagoria) which is a beautiful instrumental outro where Bojan shows again his songwriting skills delivering a melodic and hauntingly eerie composition, that serves perfectly as an ending to the obscure ride that this album is. You have to listen to it to know what I'm talking about. Last but not least, I want to also make a mention about the cover art, as it shows a mature approach to the music, and the depicted image of what seems to be a desolated and abandoned city in ruins complements the theme of the songs perfectly.

In conclusion, Paimonia proves to be a really capable band whem it comes to recreate sinister and dark atmospheres, that are complemented by impeccable songwriting and playing skills, resulting in a fresh and interesting album for anybody who is willing to listen to it.

Originally submitted to http://theforlornson.wordpress.com/

Disease Named Humanity - 95%

delcev903, May 16th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Humanity's Plague Productions (Limited edition)

As a metal fan I find it very hard to discover some new exciting band which will satisfy my needs. Because of this, I’m happy that in the sea of bedroom projects and crap I discovered Paimonia – black/death machinery hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia.

This band has been around since 2011, and for this short period behind they succeed to craft their musicianship to almost perfect levels. Well, I don’t say that everything on this record is perfect, but for a debut album, this is far above the standards. What we have on this amazing debut full-length is 41 minutes of pure, straightforward misanthropy. Throughout the whole album there is amazing atmosphere that haunts and force you to play this CD again and again.

I can’t see why some people keep compare Paimonia with Dissection, because these guys are far away from being copycats. Believe me, there are parts (for example the opening riffs from “Contagion Through Aeons”) that easily may be linked to the infamous Swedish black/death traditions for sure, but also there are quite outstanding semi-technical parts that remind me of French black metal bands as Aosoth ("An Arrow in Heart" era), Deathspell Omega ("Paracletus" era), Blut Aus Nord ("Sect(s)" era) etc.

The tempo on “Disease Named Humanity” varies on every song. There are combined slow/mid/fast parts, as the listener won’t be bored even one second. On “Depths Within Nothingness Called Life” there is even violin played at the middle of the song. I don’t like classical instruments to be involved in metal music (especially not in black/death metal), but in this case I don’t mind it, in fact, I found it very brave and cool in the same time because it is fixed in perfect time and on perfect place. The only song that differs from the rest is the instrumental that close the album. After 35+ minutes of furious musicianship, ”Opus VII (Through the Endless Phantasmagoria)” is track done with only acoustic and lead guitars covered with atmospheric parts.

Production is very clean and dynamic, just perfect for my taste. All process was done at the “Svarun” studios by N.P.V. I think that their main goal was to focus the listener on guitars and vocals, but that doesn’t mean that the drums are inessential, on the contrary, they are played very well here, and unlike the “Modern Way of Distraction” EP where Paimonia (then also two-pieced band but without drummer) uses drum machine, on this release the drummer shows why playing the drums is always better choice.

At the end I must mention the whole packaging. The artwork was done by Mržnja (frontman of the Mržnja, another Serbian black metal band worth for your attention). He totally brings the whole album concept onto paper and gives his personal touch to this masterpiece.

All in all, this is more than decent debut. B.V. and N.P.V. created a monument of misanthropy, probably the most hateful album that I heard lately. I follow the Serbian metal scene for about ten years, and I must admit that this is one of the most complete works to date, and that competition is very difficult I must say, with bands like The Stone, Infest, Kozeljnik, Bane etc.

Paimonia deserves whole support because they are very young and talented dudes with very sincere and honest approach to the music, therefore, purchase this CD, grab some cold beer and enjoy the misanthropy.

Middle-East born humans are no disease - 85%

slayrrr666, April 4th, 2014

The debut offering from Serbian black/death newcomers Paimonia, “Disease Named Humanity,” sees a group taking a rather profound modern-day take on a classic style and certainly strikes an intriguing notion for their future endeavors.

Despite being from a country not typically known for pursuing such musical exploits, this middle-eastern band patterns itself straight from the Swedish black/death metal scene, and on that behalf the band is certainly competent if not exactly breaking any new ground. The fact that the guitars are the main focus is a good choice, for it’s certainly dynamic enough to be worthwhile with a wide variety of dynamics on display, from tight death metal rhythms that underline the main verses to raging tremolo-picked melodies that belie a black metal aesthetic with their colder atmospheres brushing up against the heavier death metal rhythms, to the frequent incorporation of melody into the music that makes the raging tempos sound all the more pleasing, there’s a lot of work for the guitars on the record and they prove up to the task in each case. The chugging death metal rhythms provide this with a solid, heavy backbone onto which the drumming can latch onto before barreling over into a new direction elsewhere, but when mixed with those tremolo patterns creates a rather intriguing experience within the main rhythms. This in effect combines the best elements of death and black metal into a rather fun whole, offering heavy patterns against the lighter, more melodic rhythms throughout. There’s times where the guitars are also required to provide assistance to the chaotic, blistering drumming that’s pretty frequent throughout or to bounce along with the melodic leads and are certainly capable enough in each case, as well as providing some rather unique and intriguing technically-proficient parts along the latter half of the album that are quite surprising at their brief and successful insertion into the music, giving the guitars rather high marks throughout the album. As well, the other big plus to be found is the rather dynamic and accomplished drumming on display, for this set creates a racket quite easily with blistering double-bass patterns, blastbeats galore and just unrelentingly fast and hard-hitting sections that are quite intense and vicious, moreso for their speed and precision rather than the patterns utilized, that creates a rather interesting cross-section against the melody being utilized alongside these chaos-riddled parts s the dynamic is quite apparent and wholly intriguing. That this is so adept at pulling the stops on a blasting frenzy to drop into a moody, atmospheric-laden melody then return to the chaos is quite fun and offers the band’s biggest exploits in the future success at being able to utilize this a little more frequently and less abruptly, which can be accomplished in time for it’s a big part of their success on this record. Add into that a fine series of bass-lines, howling vocal screeches and a penchant for up-tempo paces and it’s all quite fine if highly reminiscent of whom they took inspiration from. Beyond the ability to switch tempos as quickly as they do here, all of this material is straight from early-90s Swedish bands in terms of overall look and feel, the general approach to songwriting and the inclusion of melodic segments makes for a rather familiar feel.

However, there’s still some hope for the band that can hopefully differentiate them from the masses. As mentioned already, they already have a fine sense of tempo dynamics with their ability to abruptly switch from blasting chaos to melancholic atmospheres, which provide this with the album’s best moments when they turn on a dime to include a melodic guitar drone after a seemingly endless series of frantic blastbeats and utterly chaotic patterns, and if they can be a little more seamless in the future they might have something for the band is certainly accomplished musicians that can perform this overly-familiar material adequately. The band’s biggest attribute, though, is one singular attribute that hopefully gets even more pronounced in the future which very few bands can even start experimenting with that these guys can explore with fervor in the future regarding their usage of traditional middle-eastern harmonies into their sound. This is a byproduct of their geographical location that very few bands can employ much less experiment with, and here it not only feels genuine in its inclusion but also logical given that geographic boundary where they’re from, and that makes for an unrivaled and unique experience. Since their chosen style is to incorporate melody into the fury anyway, the decision to include aspects of their homeland along with the more familiar trinkling-style of melodies makes too much sense not to be included in the music and the moments where it follows along the dirty, dusty, sand-blasted epic melodies that recall this particular part of the world offer some of the album’s best moments and makes for a wholly rewarding experience. This is a potential avenue to explore that would not only benefit the band in terms of sonic individuality within the scene, since the music is supposed to offer up melodies alongside the fury anyway, but if utilized with a proper and more pronounced sense of tempo shifts that were found throughout it’s certainly something that might benefit the band immensely. Of course, none of that can help the fact that the short tracklist could be bumped up another song or two instead of feeling like an extended EP here, but in terms of musical attributes the band is in fine form.

Due to a high quality style that the band explores, the songs are quite fun and rarely deviate, even among the two halves here. Opener ‘As Plague Scourge This World Apart’ begins with a faded guitar intro that gradually builds into blistering drumming attack with scorching riff-work and pulsating rhythms against a fine up-tempo pace with chaotic drumming throughout the intense rhythms that keep a blistering pace with the blazing guitars with the occasional acoustic interlude in the first half but still combines into a frantic flurry of drumming, more ambient-sounding guitar patterns in the final half and a decided focus on the melodic pace with less intense rhythms, simple patterns and a pounding finale. ‘Contagion Through Aeons’ features intense drumming against tight, tremolo-styled riffing filled with melodic undercurrents against the blistering drumming and a fine mid-tempo sprawl through the more chaotic guitar patterns in the second half which spell an end to the melody in favor of the frantic riffing, unrelenting drum-bashings with intense double-bass blasts and a turn for more restrained, technically-complex patterns in the mid-section with a fine melody-laden solo section at the mid-tempo pace fueled by blasting double-bass runs and buzzing bass-lines as the return to their chaotic patterns leads through the final half with eerie guitar drones and militaristic drumming. Perhaps the album’s highlight track, ‘Ruined Form Catharsis’ weaves a stylish acoustic intro with haunting exotic patterns turns into gradual build-up with simplistic drumming, tremolo-styled riffing and explosive energy in the main rhythms through mid-tempo sections fueled by technical bass-clanking, dexterous double-bass drumming and vicious lead guitars filled with minor melody interjections against the more powerful tempos and battering drumming that drops off for an eerie melodic interlude at the mid-section break then returns to fine mid-tempo form before a brutal drum bashing into the finale. ‘Depth Within Nothingness Called Life’ from being another strong highlight, as the rolling drumming intro with tremolo riffing patterns and fine up-tempo pace against the chaotic riff-work with pounding drumming careening through the first half full of clanking bass-lines, technical riffing with a slight degree of pattern variation throughout into the mid-section with highly-melodic patterns, a major tempo drain and mournful violin wails against plodding drumming that kicks back into chaotic form with pounding drumming against tight, up-tempo riffing that carries through the final half into chaotic patterns and intense drumming, leaving the first half on a fine note.

The second half is certainly in tune with the first half in terms of skilled songs and appearance, but does slightly suffer from the short running order. ‘Resurgence of Malice’ is generally enjoyable with tight riffing and bashing drumming throughout the intro turn into steady, mid-tempo pace with blistering drum patterns against the hard-hitting riffs that weave through their paces at furious speeds before slowing down into the mid-range with a slew of technically-complex drumming, frantic riffing and a series of dynamic tempo changes into the middle half which slows into a more manageable mid-range effort with bouncy melodic leads, plodding drumming and a relaxed tempo from the majority of the rhythms before turning back into mid-tempo range with pounding drums, tight riffs and clanking bass-lines through the finale. The monumental epic ‘Funeral of Decaying World’ against starts off ominously with a faded guitar intro with dissonant atmospherics gradually turns into screaming vocals, pounding drumming and a dynamic series of mid-tempo guitar riffs that go along with the mid-range drum patterns throughout which manages to keep a restrained energy to the guitars despite more frantic drumming patterns that adds a sense of chaos that finally weaves through the guitars in the mid-section with fine melodies against the dexterous drumming on display that dips in intensity for an extended melodically-inclined instrumental interlude before becoming far more avant-garde with dissonant guitar buzzing, furious middle-eastern melodies and battering drumming that leads into the tight final half with extended rhythms, dynamic tempo changes and haunting guitar drones into the final fade-out. The instrumental ‘Opus VII (Through the Endless Phantasmagoria)’ is a quiet, ominous noise intro gradually turns into gentle, haunting acoustic guitar strumming dynamic middle-eastern melodies that turn into far more accomplished patterns against dissonant guitar screeches while the acoustic guitar plucking carries it’s mournful rhythm throughout with accompaniment by soaring guitar solos and a gentle, harmonious finale, offering the best use of their middle-east vibe and ending things on a good note.

While there might be a hint of familiarity within this one as it does attempt to employ patterns and rhythms that have long been apart of their chosen scene, the fact that the group wisely augments this with a few nationality-based surprises makes for an overall intriguing and overall worthwhile experience, providing a sense of comfort for the longtime fans with their adherence to the formulas while offering up a new and unique dynamic that appeals to those looking for something different than the typical masses out there. It’s still not perfect by any means but it’s far more accomplished than expected, certainly proving this guys could be on to something truly fun and impressive with the promise of what’s to come in the future.