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Pan.Thy.Monium > Dream II > Reviews > robotniq
Pan.Thy.Monium - Dream II

The sleep of reason produces monsters... - 83%

robotniq, December 26th, 2020

Chronologically, "Dream II" is sandwiched between Pan.Thy.Monium’s demo and their debut album ("Dawn of Dreams"). This EP is the best thing this strange death metal band ever released. It improves on the demo in every department, whilst avoiding the meandering indulgences that hindered their subsequent full-length albums. "Dream II” presents the band at their most typically 'death metal'. The music is faster and more technical than it was on the demo, the doom vibe has been relegated to the background. The band’s conceptual weirdness becomes more obvious on this release, but the death metal song-writing comes first.

Dan Swanö seems to be the driving force. His keyboards and effects are everywhere on these songs; ticking clocks, New Age influences (including pan-pipes), and lots of keyboard melodies. The ambient instrumental ("Vvoiiccheeces") shows his adeptness with these sounds. More important is how he embeds keyboards into the fabric of the death metal, rather than using them as background embellishment. His bass playing is great too. He finds the crisp tone that eluded him on the demo. Of course, his production skills also improved. He achieves a balanced, clear production that differs from the typical crusty Swedish death metal of the time. Swanö’s wide-ranging talents are the backbone of Pan.Thy.Monium.

The other musicians are good too. The band is tighter than before, relying less on heavy, de-tuned lumbering. There are some proper death metal riffs and grooves. The song "III" retains the old death/doom feel, adding bursts of grindcore speed and cinematic keyboard sections. All later versions of "Dream II'' contain an extra song ("IV"). This one was recorded in 1994 after the band had released two full-length albums. It fits with the production vibe of this EP though, and might be the best Pan.Thy.Monium song ever. It contains a melodic 'black metal' section that sounds like Dissection, and a sick slower riff that sounds like early Nocturnus. The latter band is a good comparison for Pan.Thy.Monium. Both bands took conceptual, keyboard-laden death metal to the outer reaches of the cosmos. They seldom converged like they did on this song.

Much of this EP sounds implausible for a death metal band in the early nineties. They didn't add the saxophone until their debut album, but were still beyond the pale for most death metal fans on this EP. There is a mystery and enigma to everything Pan.Thy.Monium ever did, but “Dream II” is where it comes together with great death metal song-writing. The EP format suits them, favouring succinctness over avant-garde excess. Those who are exploring the bewildering world of Pan.Thy.Monium should begin with this.