Blackened death metal has also, to me, seemed like a genre much less appreciated or widespread as other genres like death, black or thrash metal. Only a select few bands like Belphegor, Zyklon, Akercocke, Behemoth and to some extent God Dethroned and Necrophobic have gotten "big" in the scene.
Like their fellow Polish country-men in Behemoth the four man large band Pandemonium play blackened death metal with an emphasis on the death metal part. Also, like Behemoth their current sound is very modern with a huge focus on good production. I could go on about how it kinda sounds like Pandemonium wants to be Behemoth, but instead I will try to let the album "Misanthropy" speak for itself.
The songwriters of Pandemonium do have a certain knack for writing some genuinely enjoyable metal, but only rarely does the music exceed the relatively high standards created by other bands of the genre. While the great production certainly does good things for the band I can't help but feel that there are several things not quite up to par. For instance the vocals are tremendously lacklustre and mostly sound like the drunken ravings of a homeless vodka-enthusiast.
Another thing that bothered me was that Pandemonium seem to be stuck in one tempo. Almost all songs run in the vicinity of the same speeds, and only rarely does the band leave their apparent comfort zone and speed things up a little. This has the effect that most of the tracks can be very hard to distinguish between, and the songs don't really have the necessary build-up to create an actual climax.
Among the highlights of the album could be mentioned the fifth song "Avant-Garde Underground" which has a really memorable riff and is probably also one of the more atypical efforts on Misanthropy along with the melodic tracks "Only the Dead Will see the End of War" and "Misanthropy", which feature some juicy ancient-ish sounding stuff.
All in all Pandemonium's fourth album isn't that bad. Like I mentioned earlier it's a pretty good compilation of what the band themselves call "Satanic Dark Metal", but I think Misanthropy lacks the spirit and enthusiasm that made Behemoth big. 7/10 guitars
1. The Black Forest
2. God Delusion
3. Necro Judas
4. Stones are Eternal
5. Avant-Garde Underground
6. Everlasting Opposition
7. Only the Dead Will see the End of War
PANDEMONIUM official site
Pagan Records official site