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Bloody Panda - Summon
11 August 2009

01. Gold
02. Pusher
03. Saccades I
04. Saccades II
05. Miserere
06. Grey
07. Hashira

Peculiar. If you were to look up the word 'peculiar' in a dictionary, there would not be a band photograph of Bloody Panda, because it would make no sense and it would be a very cliché thing to say. Although in itself the acknowledgement of this cliché has become quite a cliché. Anyway. Bloody Panda. Summon. One question: are they capable of growth? Are they able to expand on their unique sound and increase their narcotic intensity?

Cliffhangers are annoying, so here goes: yes and yes.

Debut album Pheromone leaned to much on Ohara's vocals and lacked instrumental prowess. It was, almost, as if they simply had forgotten about that particular part of the equation. Well, the same thing surely cannot be said of sophomore album Summon. Bloody Panda's instrumental line-up consists of Blake McDowell (organ, backing vocals), Bryan Camphire (bass, samples, backing vocals), Dan Weiss (drums, tabla) and Josh Rothenberger (guitars, synthesizer). And they drone, pummel, sweep and haunt through their avant-garde song structures like no other. Describing them as 'dynamic' would be the understatement of the year. Check for example 'Miserere', the album's mammoth-like focal point, with its frantic drums under slow organ sweeps, the estranging synthesizer-sounds, chillingly emotive vocals and the e-e-r-i-e atmosphere. A monster of a song, an album that's almost always a real tour-de-force.

Yoshiko Ohara's vocals are still unreal. Once again, nothing is too crazy for Miss Ohara. On Summon she pulls off half-melodic chants, as well as icy banshee shrieks and rough screams. She's capable of delivering rhythmically entrancing vocals as well as purely hysterical drug-crazed horror madness. Christianity speaks of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are said to one day wreak divine havoc on Earth. Other sources speak of the Anti-Christ, Lucifer, Satan, Azerate and various other diabolic entities. Well, all of these so-called 'evil' entities will bow down to the Coming Of Real Evil - the child of Yoshiko Ohara and Attila Csihar (Mayhem). God forbid those two really ever spew forth child, for it will surely mean the end of the world - through pure sonic violence.

Bloody Panda is Funeral Doom, Avantgarde, Ambient, Drone and Sludge in one. Bloody Panda should be heralded for their avant-garde and experimental outlook on music and revered for their accomplishments. Summon is not always perfect, but experimental music rarely is. Summon is not something to devour while doing your homework, Summon is music to take drugs too in order to experience true haunting madness and paranoia. I dare you. Good bye.

PS: The bonus DVD is a must, if you've got a few blotters of acid and are looking forward to a real nifty bad trip. Nah, seriously, the video isn't too bad. 'Abstract' is definitely the key word here and I don't think all that many metalheads will find the crawling 'expressive' body movements of interest at all, but some of the explosions and shots of live performances are nice... I am really too blunt-headed for abstract (non-audio) art.

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

Band profile: Bloody Panda
Album: Summon


Written on 19.11.2009 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››


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Mr. Doctor - 19.11.2009 at 12:26  
Just the thought of Attila and Yoshiko having a baby [or better.. two, one girl and one guy].... That thought maked me drool for about 5 minutes.
Fucking amazing.... Somebody should make sure that those two see each other!!!

from what I've heard, the album seems to be better and I'm glad because even after hearing stuff from their debut, they seemed like they would be turn out to be amazing... Good thing that they improved a lot.

I have to buy both albums...

And of course, great review as usual
Valentin B - 19.11.2009 at 14:04  
LOL i loved the intro of the review
Elio - 19.11.2009 at 20:04  
This album is fucking interesting, and I like it a lot, even if I'm not an extreme doom lover. This shit is intense, one of the 5 best metal albums I can name from this year so far, for sure.
Talvi - 19.11.2009 at 23:58  
Second or third best metal album this year, just behind latest Converge and Thy Catafalque.
Lucas - 27.02.2010 at 13:40  
Summon seems hugely overlooked? It seemed to get mainly positive criticism, but these days I rarely hear people talking about this album.
Mr. Doctor - 02.05.2010 at 23:22  
Written by Lucas on 27.02.2010 at 13:40

Summon seems hugely overlooked? It seemed to get mainly positive criticism, but these days I rarely hear people talking about this album.

People should check it out for sure. I don't listen to it too many times but when you'r ein the mood it's some of the most sick stuff you can listen to imo. I mean, just check Saccades I... Those screams are in-fucking-sane! If I was a staff member I would pick the hell out of this cd not because it's the most amazing shit ever... Ok, I really found it to be brilliant but that's a personal opinion, but I think people should listen to this album because it IS different.
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.09.2010 at 21:40  
This is so completely my kind of music: Music that has one foot in metal and one, charred, gnarly stump in something else entirely more hellish and vile. Those females vocals, those sporadic dirges and everything else that swirls around it dripping in putrid decay. It's just awesome, and the review does it complete justice.

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