Pantheist
The Pains of Sleep

Apparently Myspace has some uses other than unsolicited porn and self promotion (my main use) as out of the blue I get a message from Kostas, the main man of Pantheist, who has read my reviews of Amartia and O Solitude on this very site and asked me to review their latest release.

Don’t get to excited folks, The Pains of Sleep is not a new album but rather a stop gap EP that includes three new songs (“The Pains of Sleep”, “Pavor Nocturnus” and “For Funerals to Come”) a re-mastered copy of the complete 1000 Years demo and a bonus live video of “Envy Us”. Not bad for an EP.

Anyway, the three ‘new’ tracks are apparently older tracks the band has had laying around for a while and re-worked. Obviously, if you have heard Pantheist, you know what to expect; draining and utterly rending Funeral Doom with lots of church organs and choirs and the new tracks follow that depressive suit. The eleven minute “The Pains of Sleep” (according to the liner notes this song was originally loosely based on Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”) is the EP’s centerpiece; a massive crawling, desperately solemn affair that would have fit on Amartia with ease. its powerful deeply growled climax is as good as the genre gets. The fourteen minute “Pavor Nocturnus” starts with delicate acoustics before being even slower and sullen than the title track and a touch more vocal extremity and girth. Brief instrumental ‘For Funerals to Come” ties things up with nice flourish.

The demo material, as you would expect-despite being re-mastered is a bit rougher and has a few more extreme outbursts and the tracks re-surface in some form on both subsequent albums (“Time” on O Solitude, “Lust” and “Envy Us” on Amartia), but the organs, chants, growls and Cathedral like austerity and atmosphere is still downright oppressive. Still, this is worth it for the three new tracks alone and solidifies Pantheist as the unquestionable masters of funeral doom.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 17th, 2006

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