[Eldritch Lunar Miasma Records]
[July 22nd, 2013]
01. Thunder Alchemy
02. Monta Maailmaa Nähnyt
03. Stigma ja Kolmikärki
04. I.N.R.I. (Igne Natura Renovatur Integra)
Pantheon of Blood are a Finnish occult black metal band – and oh boy are they underground. What a treat! Their members use stage names such as Z, Adar, and Auroch, and they also seem to employ a dual vocal attack pattern.
Their career thus far has seen the release of a single demo and two EPs, with their second and newest EP Tetrasomia coming out just recently on MCD no less, on the record label Eldritch Lunar Miasma Records. Apparently a cassette version is planned, so you know these guys mean business; the kvlt level is off the charts here.
All joking aside, this EP does dish out some decent, if unoriginal black metal. Thematically, the release is geared towards the occult and alchemical, right down to the artwork, which reflects that, and looks really cool while doing so. It isn’t often a black metal EP will have artwork that looks this good.
The release is four songs long, for a total of about 18 minutes of listening time. Pantheon of Blood do their best to fill that short run time with impressive material, but it doesn’t always prove fruitful. It is a release that is rough around the edges – as a band their priority is by no means precision – but the production is clear enough overall. The vocals are especially good; they’re shrieky and displaced slightly (with a healthy amount of reverb on the first track), but can also be more strangulated on other parts.
The two guitars generally play different parts, one providing rhythm while the other plays melody or higher complements to the rhythm above it, though they occasionally muddy each other up. That said, the mix doesn’t really pop either. It is average production at best, failing to really attain any sort of extra dimension. The guitars are a little flat, and the drums unfortunately suffer the same fate. The vocals are the only real good part of what was done here. Of course, that isn’t really an issue in black metal at times, but it feels here like they were striving for something better.
Musically, the songs don’t really have that much to them. As previously mentioned, the guitars occasionally muddy each other up, making it a bit more difficult to discern the riffs for what they are. The riffs are pretty good, in terms of being solid, but derivative black metal. The attempts at lead melodies are weak though, sounding rather uninspired. The song “Monta Maailmaa Nahnyt” proves that point, being a weak, meandering mess for most of its runtime.
Ultimately, this release leaves a lot to be desired, and didn’t really inspire much in the way of words. It shows some potential, there are some pretty good riffs, such as on the song “Thunder Alchemy” and hopefully the band can build off that. They’re still a newer band, having formed in 2009, and none of them are inherently bad musicians, so they certainly have potential to do better in the future. While they certainly adhere to criteria that will please black metal purists, they are yet to do anything particularly innovative with the sound.