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Review: Pantheon - Dead Or Alive
Dead Or Alive

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 21:38
Tracks: 4
Genre: Heavy/Thrash

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: December 18, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Dead Or Alive

Rated 2/5 (40%) (1 Vote)

While some newer Thrash bands are going full speed ahead into old school Thrash, Pantheon have chosen to mix the old with the new, and managed to do so without sucking.  The band is on the lighter side of their chosen genre, tip-toeing on the fence between Heavy Metal and Thrash.  The vocals are relatively clean, but a little raw and aggressive, not unlike the quieter material in early Megadeth (albeit without Mustaine's distinctive voice, that goes without saying.)  The music is quite varied, mostly mid to sort-of-fast-paced - they don't really get into a speed fest.  The thrashier passages are very heavy-sounding, which the band has favoured over speed.  The less thrashy moments vary quite a bit, from some very melodic and relatively tame playing, to some more... "weird" styling that still takes me by surprise after some 15 listens.  It's both interesting and annoying, as this sometimes breaks the mood.  It does however manage to showcase the band's versatility over a short period of time.  The guitar work is overall very old school-sounding, especially some of the solos which sound like they're were lifted directly off the late 80s.

Really the weak moment on this EP is the third song, "Shrapnel", which starts off quite promising, with its intro sounding a little bit like Judas Priest's "The Sentinel", but then turns into that groovy beat that some metalcore and mallcore bands use in most of their songs.  Thankfully they don't keep this up for the whole duration, but it does leave a sour taste.  This song is also less focused than the other ones - it has a lot of interesting guitar work and intricate melodies, but it goes too much all over the place (and oops, here's that groove again).  The other songs are definitely better, with the opening and closing tracks being the best here.  Overall this is an enjoyable EP of pretty good Heavy/Thrash, and I would sure welcome a full length packed with songs such as "Dead or Alive" and "Arena of Invasion"!

Track Listing:
  1. Dead Or Alive
  2. Diamond Mine
  3. Shrapnel
  4. Arena Of Invasion
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