Pandemonium – Misanthropy (Pagan Records)

Die-hard Polish cult comes back darker than ever.
Release Date: 
10 Mar 2012 - 1:30pm

Pandemonium is a cult band from Poland that never managed to make a breakthrough in the vast world of metal throughout the years. The band started in 1990, recorded a couple of demos, a cult album – The Ancient Catatonia - , then changed their name to Domain in 1995 only to return as Pandemonium again in 2004 with a new line up (still the same today) and the electronic album The Zonei, the following metal-based Hellspawn and now with Misanthropy

Since their “come-back” album The Zonei, the band has failed to garner deserved attention simply due to the lack of a proper production, because all their albums have their qualities. 

But in Misanthropy, maybe because of the consistent line-up, maybe because the production, or maybe both, the band is more cohesive than ever, their sound is sharp, the melodies are spot on, the anthems are catchy and the time is due for Pandemonium to steal the spotlights with their oldschool melodic death/black that they call Satanic Dark Metal (or so I was told)

From the word go Pandemonium shows a strong influence of earlier Samael (from the album Blood Ritual, mainly), so if you’re keen to that album you’ll LOVE this one.  Sometimes the influence is so strong that it seems Xytras and Vorph themselves invaded the studio, hijacked the instruments and played the album. 

Of course they have their own share of creativity to show us apart from sounding like Samael, they’re not merely copycats. 

The Black Forest opens the album with resolute heaviness, and the darkness spills from the speakers. The phrases are lengthy and the tempos are mid-paced to slow and repetitive, but in an oldschool metallic way. The instruments are crystal clear, the soloing is catchy and this pattern brims over the whole Misanthropy album. 

The song God Delusion is not the highlight but its last part makes me bang my old-skull everytime I hear it and so does Necro Judas and its damned fetching slow riff, the drumming is so heavy it seems an anvil with its double-kicking never upping the ante on the tempo territory and always rotating on the verge of disaster. Next track, Stones are Eternal, has an eerie feminine vocal that doesn’t add much to the opus.

Avant-Garde Underground is much better, with the double kicking there again, the 90’s riffage, and even the bass adding insult to injury, being a key instrument in this album based in heaviness, not jugglery.

Although all the tracks are alike, Only the Dead will See the End of The War is easily the highlight of the album, surmising all the tracks into one, with a strange mystical Eastern feeling to it, it is a stretched version of the whole album.  

Notwithstanding sounding cumbersome to new audiences, Misanthropy will be embraced by oldschoolers with joy and will definitely put Pandemonium in the same pantheon of the greatest Polish bands of all time (Kat, Vader and so on).  Indicated for Die-Hards of aforementioned Samael, Root, Masters Hammer and Tormentor (Hungary).