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Long ago when heavy metal was thriving justly by causing neck injuries and ruining the junk of blasphemers, there passed a fatal illness that attacked poetic mindsets by forcing the infected musicians to write rehashed crap that seemed uninteresting or simply deficient; this plague was appropriately labeled Unmemorableiosis. After annihilating many groups, this horrid disease was finally minimized; that is, until Pantheon I contracted it during the writing processes of their monotonous full-length called “The Wanderer and His Shadow” in 2007. Now hospitalized, Pantheon I hasn’t been doing so hot, yet what’s found in this work here shows hard evidence proving no intelligence or memorable aspects of a real band were used when making this trash, just like the disease is known for.
After further studies, it has been confirmed from multiple sources that Unmemorableiosis’ slow takeover eventually causes dull instrumentation, as demonstrated on this record. For one, the riffing effort sluggishly portrays a terrible balance of half-assed tremolo picking and other useless commodities, which is all tied together by some stupid clean guitar for whatever reason. Dan Theobald’s drumming just floats around in easy patterns you could discover on every extreme metal observation ever made, yet here’s the kicker: when confused, he just uses blastbeats without organization. You’ll stumble upon instrumental sections that actually appear nice, but then comes mindless snare bashing like an ADD kid given a drum set; it’s completely incoherent and unneeded. One will easily find Pantheon I’s typical structure to be very generic and quite irksome in comparison to alternative black metal releases, mainly because these clowns lack an essential tool others have: brain cells.
Such biological decay can also be traced back to excessively using crappy song writing, which stands out as another key sign for a proper Unmemorableiosis diagnosis. Basically, Pantheon I strives tediously with boredom by finding a set of mundane drafts that are burdensome in all areas, and then proceeds to suck every signal of decency dry until sleep falls upon the listener. Biopsies on certain tracks have shown this entire musical performance focuses on milking specific patterns for minutes at a time, or at least before shutting your CD player off due to frustration from constant redundancy. Foreseeable and downright bland, you’ll be wishing your money was never spent on such vapid meadow muffins.
As “The Wanderer and His Shadow” strolls around like a lost child, please try to identity with that abandonment the best you can, because I guarantee you’ll be praying you were lost within a sea of random people rather than wallowing in this group’s lackluster presence. Some symptoms these Norwegian gimps had included predictable riffs, lame vocals, dull overall songs, senseless-blasting percussion, and a general stint of unmemorable aspects; the signs were clear, but Unmemorableiosis worked too fast to do anything. Oh, boy! It looks like Pantheon I just slipped into a coma due to Unmemorableiosis’ progression, yet I feel we should let nature take its course with this particular subject. After all, it is just Pantheon I.
I was searching around in an attempt to find the German power metallers Pantheon's debut album when I mistakenly downloaded this black metal album and boy what a big oops that was. While I do enjoy my share of black metal, the more melodic types I find myself being bored with those kvlt underground raw acts out everywhere and I figured this would be another one as I checked their Metal Archives Page.
After finally listening to the music I started to grasp what was a mix of styles new and old of black metal. I am no black metal expert by any means but I could find many similarities in Pantheon I's music and Old Man's Child, Dimmu Borgir's and even 1349, as how the vocalist and bassist are ex-1349 members. This has a certain 'raw' feeling in it, the same way I felt when I first heard Immortal's "Son's of Northern Darkness" but not the kvlt kind. It had a clear mix of this and a slickened production that you would find with the likes of Old Man's Child.
This short album has many later Immortal-esque riffs and when mixed with the atmosphere that Old Man's Child has on the one album I own I find this to be an odd mix. The music is very melodic, with the typical raspy growl of the vocalist - who has little range and doesn't change his style at all. He's bland and could be mixed up in the sea of black metal vocalists but at times I find myself finding a connection with him and Abbath...
The rest of the band does it's job but doesn't do anything spectacular. The guitarist plays as typical riffs you'll find in black metal but at least he plays with a certain degree of melody that I can find fairly entertaining, but sometimes is off balance with the drums when they are blasting away. The drumming is probably the best part of The Wanderer and His Shadow who seems to find the appropriate time to blast the hell out of the kit and when to double bass his way into the spotlight, he seems to work well with this music. Several songs have moments when they will ease up and you'll hear a very beautiful cello piece that interludes its way into another black-er segment, which also adds to the melody of this album.
Most songs on here don't have much significance from each other, other than the cello parts and the occasional clean vocal part sounding VERY much like the almost divine ICS Vortex in Dimmu Borgir. The odd moments that somehow fit into this album seem to be the best - the random almost psuedo thrash intro riff on Where Angels Burn and the slightly symphonic melody driven Shedim. The best song on here is probably the latter mentioned, Shedim seems to have a very sorrowful melody driven pace of mourning and loss. The other highlight might be the 8+ minute My Curse that changes in variety from breakneck speed to slow melody with nice drumming.
Pantheon I is a relatively unknown band from what I gather, but while this album has it's decent moments this overall can be described as a second rate black metal album that has a very common sound. It's very melodic I find, which helps it overall. The brutal-er 1349 worship parts don't seem to work out as well as the more Dimmu Borgir inspired songs oddly enough. Fans of melodic black metal will probably enjoy this while I found it to be just another black metal album.