Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pandemonium: Misanthropy (2012)

Furious Souls in a Chaos of Sound

A while back, Godz ov War Productions sent me the two-song 2010 promo from Polish blackened death metallers Pandemonium. It sounded pretty good, being a well-recorded but mostly un-produced demo from a long-established band that sounded like . . . well, they sounded like a Polish death metal band.

Color me surprised at how much better this music sounds on fourth full-length Misanthropy. It's no longer a band that sounds just like a mid-point between Vader and Behemoth. Instead, they've slowed things down to mostly mid-tempo, and worked on the production to get an eerie, otherworldly sound enhanced by the slight vocal distortion.

They do suffer a bit from premature ejaculation, putting their best track first, but what a song "The Black Forest" is. I swear that riff sounds familiar, but wherever it's from, this version is really sticking with me. (Maybe the promo version I heard several months ago is the reason it's familiar.) But that's not the only memorable cut on here, as the doomy "Necro Judas" and the punky "Avant-Garde Underground" are choice.

I hate to keep making comparisons to the same band, given yesterday's review, but there is also a distinct Triptykon influence. The Swiss band is evoked in Pandemonium's atmospheric but still riff-based sound, as well as the occasional female vocal (such as on the title track).

(I couldn't find any good samples off this album, so this will have to do.)

The Verdict: It's amazing to see how far a band can come from the demo to the finished product. While it's not a big-name, thick and heavy production job, it still sounds great. This finished product is very much worth your while. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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