Pandemonium - _Misanthropy_
(Pagan Records, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
Dense, apocalyptic and dark is the metal of Pandemonium, as it slowly ploughs grooves in the soul of the listener, with its demented vocals and peculiar harmonies; with its searing guitars and its suffocating atmospheres conjuring madness, schizophrenia and night eternal. But melody would be this demonic entity's strongest attribute, for _Misanthropy_ is as euphonious as it gets; played slow-to-mid-paced, engaging occasional synths, mammoth ritual-like drumming and epic guitar showmanship, it's really all about the apocalyptic riffs that suggest the end of times, some middle-Eastern arabesque insinuations and those rabid vocals that are equal parts hissed, growled and howled like a mad dog.

The rhythm guitar here has established an intimate relationship with the lead guitar, and both create a unique flirtation of unrelenting, uncompromising heaviness versus a finer streak of desolate melodies and dark guitar solo sonic beauties. They complete each other, if to use a comical cliché. The result is an insidious pleasure.

All in all the music is rather simple, but it owns a distinctive sound and heavyweight presence that are undeniable, all-encompassing and attractive. The style is a hybrid between black and death metal with some doom/death thrown in, but _Misanthropy_ is really none of the aforementioned; it should belong therefore to the unclassified sub-genre dubbed as 'dark metal', similarly to bands such as Swiss Alastis and such: dark, heavy, unclassified metal. It's like dark matter, only music-related.

_Misanthropy_ is an excellent album for all metal aficionados. It's properly written, appealing, carnal and estranged. Its melodics are luscious and thick with black juices, and the whole affair -- female guest vocalist included -- is an aural orgy for the senses. Get this album!


(article published 29/12/2012)

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