strong meat that we are served by the Belgians immigrated to England.
I have to disappoint those who search for rays of hope or at least
for a flickering candle in the pitch-dark cemetery. The missing
light is in the case of Journey Through Lands Unknown
besides the depressive prevailing mood also an allegory for some
sort of disorientation. The quartet has overloaded especially
the first two tracks with too much unnecessary ballast. Many first-class
approaches are interrupted by annoying accessory parts like in
Dum Spiro Despero, which starts with a groovy riff before
a redundant terribly wobbling and artificial sounding Hammond
organ enters. I’d still like to point out the courage and
imaginativeness of PANTHEIST in that case in the instrumentation
and the openness towards exotic influences (Unknown Lands
with its oriental touch or the beautiful instrumental Haven with
its balladic traits), but Journey Through Lands Unknown
would be considerably more accessible and simply better if the
band wouldn’t be out for breaking records in originality
by hook or by crook.
Parallels to My Dying Bride – a band that the Belgians may
call as important influence - become apparent in many parts (e.g.
in the second half of Deliverance). PANTHEIST compensate
the mentioned points of criticism with a fresh and heavy production
and the skills in composing and technique.
Guys, throw this terrible Hammond organ sound overboard, try to
be more focused in songwriting and add some spots of color to
the dismal black such as in the second half of Journey Through
Lands Unknown like e.g. in the downright album highlight
Oblivion (Funeral Doom at its best with a folk-like outro),
the epic, monumental and beautifully arranged The Loss Of Innocence
and the ethno hit Mourning The Passing Of Certainty with
a great choral at the beginning, which reminds of THE Black Metal
surprise of the new millennium (I guess I don’t have to
mention that I mean Negura Bunget’s Om, do I?) and you could
get in on the act at the top of the scene, if you actually want
that. For the moment, you should content yourself with eight points.