Pantheist - Pantheist

When one thinks of funeral doom, they instantly equalize it with depressive, dissonant, and epic music that borders more drone doom than anything and is meant more for atmosphere than anything else. However, Pantheist go against the grain with their self titled album of the typical expectations of funeral doom. Yes the songs are dissonant, and yes they're very long... but it's more on the beautiful side fo doom metal rather than the completely mournful. For one thing, there is little growling. Instead, low, mournful clean singing takes over much in the style one would expect from dark metal- long and often monotone. But, it works wonderfully to the band's advantage on a track like "The Storm," which features both the growling and clean singing, but it is the instrumentation that really will blow the listener away. The symphonic backdrop that rises up from the quiet, almost jazzy and technical moments of the music brings forth the most interesting sounds when it isn't mixed in with the long, hammering chords.

The band also makes a lot of use of a piano sound with their keyboards, which is a great gothic element without feeling too cheesy or overused. On a track like "Live Through Me" it sounds fantastic before heavier elements kick in but for the most part it can be heard thoughout the entire thing rather than just at the beginning or end. Plus the way it is set up is much better as it goes from mournfully slow to highly energetic and fast. so it doesn't feel one sided. On other tracks like "Broken Statue" it isn't as prominent because the guitar distortion overtakes everything, but the pounding, marching feeling of the music suits it well while the vocals have a bit of an etheral echo to them, which only adds to the music's diversity.

Other tracks like "4:59" are more of the typical funeral doom as it mostly just focuses on guitars and long keyboard passages, but even tracks like these have their special moments such as how the vocals have a strange warble effect so they echo in layers, almost sounding like a human flute. It is very unique, and rounds out the whole Pantheist experience. Since the term Pantheist means 'god in everything,' then it is only fitting that the atmosphere of their self titled album goes for as much of an outreach as possible to different genres of doom metal while creating a swirling sound that envelops listeners entirely. Pretty awesome stuff if one is into esoteric doom metal.

  1. One Of These Funerals
  2. Broken Statue
  3. The Storm
  4. Be Here
  5. 4:59
  6. Brighter Days
  7. Live Through Me

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
May 7, 2011

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