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Review: Pandaemonium - ...And The Runes Begin To Pray
...And The Runes Begin To Pray

Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 1999
Duration: 42:28
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: June 28, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.42/5 (68.33%) (12 Votes)

A strange and sometimes brilliant album here from extremely underground Power Metal crew Pandaemonium, a band that seems to have vanished from the face of the Earth without making a splash in any quarter, and a shame it is too. And The Runes Begin To Pray, the band's odd debut, is one of the more inventive Power Metal records to come out of Italy, in that it does of course conform to the Labyrinth staple, but offers something a little different as well.

Apart from boasting some of the coolest artwork in genre, the album flirts between two rather nice styles: bombastic Power Metal in the early Rhapsody/Fairyland mould, and haunting forest madrigals, which permeate the album. Opener "The Alchemist" is the perfect example of the band's rich, disturbing sound, beginning the album with a piece of creepy balladry that never fails to give me the chills before kicking into a full-on double-kicked assault of catchy and happy Power Metal, complete with sweeping harmony guitars, nicely layered keyboards, and some of the highest vocals you're ever likely to hear. Daniel Reda has one of the strangest voices in the genre, being very shaky and almost shrill, yet he can hit some damn high notes without sounding off-key. The effect is quite startling.

Certainly not the best album in the genre, but one of its more interesting attempts, ...And The Runes Begin to Pray will appeal to those who don't mind a band with a chink in their armor, but not much more. Give it a go. What's the worst that could happen?

More about Pandaemonium...
Review: Return to Reality (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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