Pantheist
Journey Through Lands Unknown

The fact the third full length album from one of Funeral dooms best bands and one of my favorite personal bands came out late last year and I’m just now getting to it should give you a red flag as to what is about to follow.

After two absolutely stunning funeral doom albums in O Solitude and Amartia, Pantheist appear to have hit the old ‘lets do something different’ trend and tried to veer off their perfected path by adding some experimental, prog stylings to their usually rending and morose ‘church doom’ hues. At times it works, but for the most part, the more experimental tangents on Journey Through Lands Unknown seem to clash awkwardly with the fleeting moments of funeral doom brilliance.

Opener “Deliverance” opens the concept themed album with ample indication as to the Pantheist’s more adventurous side, with a wide array of whispered, sung, chanted and growled vocals, some off the wall structures (blast beats, grooves etc), a Hammond organ, some other synths and just a herky jerky pacing and delivery that didn’t sit with me well at all, making the rest of the album have to fight a bad taste in my mouth. “Unknown Land” is more doomy in its pace and tone (despite a mid song gallop), but still littered with an Arabesque atmosphere and more vocal oddities (a Tom G “Ugh” even arises) and just ‘awkward pacing’. In all the first two songs are just very disjointed and unsatisfying other than the Hammond use.

To be honest the albums first two thirds did nothing for me whatsoever, especially third track “Dum Spiro Despero”. However, just as I’m about to give up on Pantheist, they deliver the despondent, keyboard laced, true Funeral doom mope of “Oblivion” and the sixth track, “The Loss of Innocence” which both feature arguably none of the most heart rending opening few minutes I’ve heard since Funeral’s From These Wounds. The gradual, somber build and peak of the 11 minute “The Loss of Innocence” being particularly woeful it its knee wilting brilliance. The 12 minute “Eternal Sorrow” mixes the albums experimentation with the more standard doom of the prior two songs with the expected mixed results; part ‘huh?’, part ‘wow”- which is how I feel about the album as a whole.

And therein lies the crux of Journey Through Lands Unknown; over half an album of questionable, almost unrecognizable as Pantheist experimentation, climaxing in some of the best Funeral doom you’ll ever hear. Still as an album and follow up to Amartia, its a bit of a let down and you’ll just have to decide if owning or purchasing the CD is worth it for two and a half tracks. I’m not so sure myself.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 14th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: tim

    Couldn’t agree more Erik……
    Wasn’t expecting this letdown after my enthrallment with the first two.


  2. Commented by: Shawn Pelata

    Man, I love this album!!!! I loved the experimentation on it and the whole vibe…


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