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Pan.Thy.Monium > .....Dawn > Reviews
Pan.Thy.Monium - .....Dawn

Dooohm and deaathh... - 50%

robotniq, December 24th, 2020

Pan.Thy.Monium proved there was more to early Swedish death metal than the Sunlight sound. This was one of several bands formed by multi-instrumentalist and producer Dan Swanö. They formed at around the same time as Edge of Sanity, but Swanö’s energies would soon turn to that band rather than this one. He remained involved with Pan.Thy.Monium for a few more years, where they gained (some) notoriety as the oddest death metal band out there. Their later recordings featured unconventional instruments such as saxophone, almost thirty years before Rivers of Nihil used it (with less interesting results).

Pan.Thy.Monium were a death/doom band at their core. Their first demo, ".....Dawn" was an early recording in this sub-genre, following in the slipstream of bands like Winter and Sempiternal Deathreign. The guitars and vocals here are much deeper and heavier than they were on most Swedish death metal in 1990. There was no saxophone at this stage, but there were eccentric keyboard moments that signaled the band's future avant-garde direction. Any innovations on this demo are more cosmetic than musical, such as the odd cover artwork and the strange spellings on the song titles. This was the beginning of the band's conceptual world.

This isn't great death metal though, nor is it great death/doom. None of the four songs here are evocative or memorable. The band’s playing and compositions are messy. It isn't crushing or punishing because none of the riffs catch into a proper groove, unlike similar bands such as (pre-album) Asphyx and Rippikoulu. The keyboards on this demo are annoying rather than interesting. The bass sounds terrible, being so loud that it detracts from everything else. Swanö's presence in the band would guarantee them a great production on their future recordings, but not here.

This demo feels more like the work of a quirky side-project than a serious band. Of course, Pan.Thy.Monium was a quirky side-project. Every member has been in many other bands since. Fans of old school death/doom might want to give it a cursory listen, but there isn't much of interest here. There are many other Swedish death metal demos above this in the pecking order.