Pantheon I
The Wanderer and His Shadow

This is my first exposure to Norway’s Pantheon I, the new-ish project of former 1349 guitarist Tjalve (André Kvebek) but I must say I enjoyed the bands mix of traditional and experimental black elements into one, above average, polished and slightly forward thinking slab of blackened extremity.

With longer than usual songs and extended segments of strings and ambience mixed with the expected levels of blackened furor, (arguably from Tvalve), The Wanderer and His Shadow is far more eloquent and polished than 1349, but never comes close to becoming pretentious or overly experimental.

The 8 tracks cover all the expected black metal territory with all the snarling, seething, vehemently melodic bursts of Scandinavian rage (“Cyanide Storm”, “Shedim”, “Chaos Incarnate”) but with subtle injections of experimentation such as guest vocals from Solefald’s Lazare Hedlund on standout track “Coming to and End” or the violins that grace the epic “Where Angels Burn” and end the stunning eight minutes that comprise “My Curse”.

The thing is though, despite all the great things about this album, I just never seem to find myself clamouring to listen to it, instead reaching for a Lunaris, Borgnagar or Solefald album to quench my slightly progressive black metal urges. It just lacks that certain ‘spark’ to elevate it to greater heights, despite being a quality release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 25th, 2007

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