|Review: Pandemonium (Poland) - Misanthropy|
Label: Pagan Records
Year released: 2012
Review online: April 8, 2012
Reviewed by: Memnarch
Rated 4/5 (80%) (10 Votes)
Polish Black/Death merchants Pandemonium have been at this game for a while now. One of the first extreme metal acts to materialize from Poland they've been in existence for somewhere around twenty years now. They identify their sound with the rather meaningless tag ‘Satanic Dark Metal', where in reality they play a hybrid of crisp Black and Death Metal bound together with a variety of external influences and a touch of ambiguity. I wouldn't go so far as to describe it ‘avant-garde' but it's certainly not your average extreme metal release.
Misanthropy contains a foundation which basically knits the ugly and bizarre Black Metal lunacy of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas-era Mayhem with the distinctive crunch of Polish Death Metal icons Vader. The final sound is something which is actually not too dissimilar to Triptykon, albeit not quite as obscure and outlandish. The album actually commences in rather stunning fashion, "The Black Forest" smashes in with its thick groove-laden riffs, tight drumming and some rather strange vocals all finished off with some excellent soloing.
The vocal work from Paul throughout ranges from a deranged deep Death guttural to a higher pitched Black metal-esque drawl while the guitar work is for the most part heavy and clinical with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. The drumming though is for me the standout aspect of this release, Szymon blasts and tears through Misanthropy without ever giving an inch and injects some much needed vitality in what would otherwise for the most part be a slightly above average release.
The previously mentioned "The Black Forest" or "Stones Are Eternal" and the title track with their exotic and unorthodox Middle-Eastern undercurrent more than slightly brings visions of Rotting Christ and Melechesh to the forefront of your mind. "Avant-garde Underground" for me though is the pick of the bunch, with its ridiculously simple yet catchy riffing and obnoxious slant it's almost Punk-like in its delivery. Unfortunately it just can't keep up this level of quality though, aside from those mentioned though the album is just merely average. There's brutality and blasphemy abound, but not that cutting edge to elevate this to the next level.
Certainly on the first few spins while evident Misanthropy wasn't going to transcend any new boundaries, it was an entertaining and stimulating listen, but as for its replay value I'm not too sure because eventually a certain tedium did appear to set in. Still though, for those that prefer their Black or Death Metal (this should appeal to both schools) an oppressive, vulgar mid-paced procession with the focus heavily centred on the riffs this is recommended. For others I would suggest approaching with a little more caution.
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