Pantheon I

Worlds I Create

Written by: EW on 27/08/2009 14:49:14

Pantheon I's "Worlds I Create" is my first taste of this Norwegian classily-played and classily-produced black metal band's output and within seconds of opener "Myself Above All" I'm left picking my chin off the floor from the speed, technicality and tightness being blasted from all sides around me. You see some bands favour the tactic of bringing in the listener gently but in the case of Pantheon I, well this is alarm-clock-metal; you ain't gonna be sleeping through this in the morning even with the heaviest of bangovers.

Mixing the blastbeat-infused hyper-speed of Keep Of Kalessin, and the err, blastbeat-infused hyper-speed of 1349, the start to "Worlds I Create" is a most confident one. But let's not get our knickers in a twist and condemn Pantheon I's third full length as a one-trick pony as right throughout the album the band demonstrate a sound ability to mix the speeds up and stop this album from being another BM record stick in one gear. One of Pantheon I's selling points is the cello work of Live Julianne Kostøl. A full-time cellist may sound an odd concept in a band such as this but Live's work has the effect of not only adding a sobriety to the flashing chaos exposed around her but also gives the music a spiritual connection to a different era and feel. You see, "Worlds I Create" is clean, clear and concise (if you know Keep Of Kalessin you'll know what I mean) and this modernity sits awkwardly with the gothic feel of the cello, especially as often she is playing at moments when the remainder of the band are near full speed.

To the credit of all within Pantheon I, like the well-effected stirring of speeds, the cello is limited to it's usage as to not become a gimmick, suggesting the band have given thought to it's integration and on the basis of this they are a band worth your attention. However, after a few listens to "Worlds I Create" I am not being fully sucked into what is on offer. Perhaps it is the strong resemblances to the layered dynamism of Emperor, a classic band whom I respect more than particularly like, but the key ingredient required to tip this album from being 'good' to 'great' has got lost somewhere in it's creation. "Ascending" features the proud vocals of Jonas Renske (Katatonia), "Defile The Trinity" and "Bannlyst" are all strong songs, ones that may come to grow on me in time, but completion of the album brings the thoughts of having heard similarly accomplished bands before without ever rushing to replay their album(s) over and over. Pantheon I are a band for someone without doubt, but "Worlds I Create" just does not quite push my button.

Download: Myself Above All, Defile The Trinity, Bannlyst
For The Fans Of: Keep Of Kalessin, Emperor, 1349, Naglfar
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.07.2009
Candlelight Records

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