Rating:
8.3
Pandemonium - Misanthropy
10 March 2012


01. The Black Forest
02. God Delusion
03. Necro Judas
04. Stones Are Eternal
05. Avant-Garde Underground
06. Everlasting Opposition
07. Only The Dead Will See The End Of War
08. Misanthropy


Veteran extreme metallers Pandemonium are back with another full-length release after quite a lengthy silence following their 2007 album, Hellspawn - a return to the band's roots following up an experimental failure in The Zonei in 2004. Misanthropy continues the return-to-roots style, much to this listener's delight.

Their style, a mid-paced form of atmospheric blackened death metal, focuses on groovy licks and a strong occult vibe, haunting the listener with a darkened ambiance straight out of a Japanese paranormal horror film. Keyboard intros set the mood for each track, building up the eerie setting with gloomy effects that eventually lead up to a series of repetitive riffs that rival the likes of virtually any funeral doom outfit.

With that said, there are plenty of moments where the death metal aspects dominate and the listener is forced to withstand the bludgeoning straightforward aggression of a contemporary Behemoth or slightly less progressive Akercocke. Highly technical drum work sets the pace throughout the album, varying in speed but never distracting from the overall compositions. Nothing stands out as being out of place or extraneous, reflecting the overall quality of this misanthropic release.

The modernized production adds a great deal of strength to each song, emphasizing the power of each instrument without completely losing touch with the vocals. While the music is predominantly led by the underlying technical drum work and haunting mid-paced riffs built up by atmospheric keyboard effects, the vocals are easily the most significant feature on this release - from the buried brutal death growls and creepy high-pitched black metal shrieks to the pseudo-operatic shamanic female chants.

There aren't any elements here that don't belong, and every piece of the puzzle is highlighted just enough to entice the listener, careful not to leave them overwhelmed (or underwhelmed, for that matter). Fans of extreme metal in general should appreciate this effort for what it is, and fans of the band should revel in Pandemonium's most engaging release to date.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.06.2012 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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JD - 16.06.2012 at 03:49  
Heard this album a while ago, and it's really good.

Zealot644 - 16.06.2012 at 19:43  
I like it!

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