Pantheist - _Journey Through Lands Unknown_
(Firedoom, 2008)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5 out of 10)
Pantheist is a Belgian based collective that gathers members of various bands -- bassist Mark Bodossian is possibly the one that brings the biggest names to the table, including Esoteric and Mournful Congregation. On their third full-length album _Journey Through Lands Unknown_, they start from a doom metal base and add up a number of influences and different approaches. I am sometimes reminded of early Tiamat, then some clean sung parts bring the entirely unrelated Limbonic Art to mind -- and that's only on the first track; unfortunately the next two are considerably worse. The album tends to plod along while trying to make something of its diversity, but the interesting touches that do surface are smothered by all the indifferent tinkering that goes on in each song. The vocals are as varied as the music itself, and the results are similarly variable. The fourth track, an instrumental intermezzo, brings a measure of hope that the album may improve and the second half turn out to be somewhat better. "Oblivion" is a more straightforward and competent keyboard-based doom/death song, and when "The Loss of Innocence" finally gets going, it turns out to follow suit reasonably well, while "Eternal Sorrow" brings back more clean vocals but doesn't entirely fail. Another strange track closes the album, starting with just clean chanting, then moving on to a mix of growls, drums and keys, before going full circle. The occasional interesting passage does not save _Journey Through Lands Unknown_ from its more than likely destiny as an insufficiently cohesive or enjoyable album.


(article published 15/1/2009)

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