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O Solitude is the name of the classic Pantheist debut. Over the years my general dislike of funeral doom has grown steadily, until at some point (not that long ago) I almost listened to no funeral doom anymore whatsoever. However! There are some exceptions, albums that are so good, that even I embrace it and listen to it frequently. Now this may seem rather odd as O Solitude is pretty much a walking cliché. This is third wave doom in its pure essence, but the execution is of such a high level that it's a real blessing to hear the typical genre clichés, such as the heavy presence of organs. O Solitude offers some slight genre oddities though. Don't Mourn features blast beats and most songs feature some clean chanting. This type of singing gives the album a sort of christian feeling, but it completely matches the music and it's not that it's christian music. It has a religious undertone, nonetheless, hence also the name Pantheist. O Soltude offers some classic, traditional metal as well, a good example would be Time where we get to hear some old school sounding heavy metal followed by an awesome solo until the song ends with an organ solo and up-tempo percussion. Maybe it should review my statement that's a walking cliché?
But perhaps I shouldn't, because Envy Us goes back to core essence of funeral doom. A lifeless tempo, deep growls and heavy use of organs. Typically Pantheist and it works amazing! Envy Us features the distinct growls by Stijn of Until Death Overtakes Me fame. These are some of the most inhuman type of harsh vocals created by a human you'll ever hear. It provides a welcome change and are a real experience to hear as well. Funeral doom has been generating quite a bunch of new bands the last couple of years. Unfortunaly most of them are worthless. As I stated in the beginning, there are some good exceptions, this being one of them. It can act as a real highlight, not only in the specific genre, but also as a doom classic. They combine classic funeral doom with some interesting, experimental touches. Pantheist have always been a fairly experimental band, something which is definetely the case on later material, but they will always remain O Solitude for me and, together with the 1000 Years demo, it comes heavily recommended. O Solitude (and this review) ends with the following appropriate words...
The hour has come...
the angel of death looks me straight in the eyes
like a basilisk
He stands there staring
with empty gaze- like an ancient statue
and tries to break the shield
which guards my empty soul
But all those joyless years
have eventually dried my tears
drained every emotion of my well-worn body
which slowly rots and disintegrates
The angel smells the stench of slow death
disgusted, he disappears into the night
I cut my flesh with my broken nails
enjoy the fluid of life flowing
The cancer has left my heart
and yet I'm more than ever dead...