Pantheon I The Wanderer and his Shadow

A band of rare proportions, Pantheon I set themselves apart from the fad mongers in several different departments, first and foremost with the incorporation of a cellist. Live Julianne Kostøl’s mournful bowing brings an organic sense of melancholy that couldn’t be captured by any electronic equipment, no matter how advanced. Considering how well this suits black metal, it’s a wonder that more bands haven’t thought to include this notoriously ominous instrument as a permanent fixture in their attempts to channel the dark side. Secondly, the creative drumming rarely relies on repetitious blast beats and though the tinny, above the mix snare can become terribly irritating, the imagination with which Dan Theobald chooses to accent the songs detracts from a potentially album ruining mixing issue. Finally, former 1349 guitarist Tjalve uses the influence from his previous endeavour to build similar riffs while texturing them in a much more complex manner. Willing to experiment with dynamics, they narrate songs like stories, flawlessly transitioning from feverishly paced vitriol into slower, disquieting melodic moments. Remarkable in more ways than one, The Wanderer and his Shadow is definitely an album any black metal enthusiast should check out. (Candlelight) (Candlelight)