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PANTHEON OF BLOOD: "Pantheon of Blood" - 80%

skaven, January 10th, 2013

Sûrya Ishtara and Z are certainly not running short of projects they're involved in. Right now the list seems to comprise such cult names as Saturnian Mist, Blood Red Fog, Arvet and even the legendary Azazel, to name just a few. Under the name Pantheon of Blood and the self-titled cassette debut, these two brothers in spirit (plus Adar behind the kit and some additional synths by T. Laasanen) offer two brief tracks of occult black metal interestingly combining national-romanticism and occultism, very fittingly released by Breath of Pestilence and Saturnian Productions in cooperation.

Musically, Pantheon of Blood’s approach to black metal is dominated by a very traditional Finnish sound. I’m much reminded of, say, Blood Red Fog and Cosmic Church throughout this short tape, meaning that there’s a subtle melancholic undertone in the riffing all the way through, not to forget the sense of pride that has also a strong role when we consider the thematic whole. An excerpt from the translated lyrics might shed some light on the subject: ”I continue from the point where my brothers died / and there is always a new horde to carry on / If there is no reason to die / there is no reason to live”. Another example, which is one of my favourite quotes from the lyrics, goes: ”Ravens rend our flesh / and insects ruin our rudiments / but the stones of the temple remain...”

I don’t think there’s any reason to delve too far into musical details of Pantheon of Blood, but let it be said that these two pieces are compositionally quite damn captivating tracks. "Kolmas Silmä Maan Tuhkasta” (”Third Eye from the Ashes of Earth”) includes an ethereal climax in its end in the form of a plucked, distortionless section. ”Vanha Liitto” (”The Old Covenant”) follows in similar veins riff-wise and never runs out of ideas. The execution of the instruments is fittingly rough and imprecise, which is nothing but a big plus for the sake of the rather lo-fi soundscape that would definitely not need any professional musicianship. Add the very symbolic lyrics to this and the whole is very intriguing indeed.

In the end and all unnecessary hype aside, I don’t find Pantheon of Blood faulty from any perspective unless the very short running time of around nine minutes can be considered one. I’m hoping this isn’t just a one time affair within a ’restricted’ theme of secrecy of blood, so that there would eventually be a full-length under this name. Pantheon of Blood don’t exactly offer anything revolutionary, but for a fanatic of this certain Finnish style, both musically and lyrically, this is sole gold. Keep this in mind when you view the score I’ve given this.

4 / 5
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