PANTHEIST – Journey Through Lands Unknown
Label: Firedoom Music
Release: November 19   2008
By: Haris
Rating: 8/10
Time: 62:46
Style: Melancholic Mystical Metal
URL: Pantheist

Phew, that’s 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.