Pantheist, the band and its creation, is active in a rather interesting small niche in the underworld of funeral doom/death; Miles separate from its peers who manifest pure sonic darkness, Pantheist composes rather the opposite: Its music is the anti-darkness, pure humane melancholy, sun-warm, music which shines upon humans as the rays of pale moonlight aura, shines brightly and is bathing its audience with an endless colorful rainbow of shades, or may that be the paleness of death?...Pantheist's music is devoid of that so very familiar nihilistic, minimalist quality most funeral bands tend to own, it is neither sterile nor desolate in character as is the case with names such as Skepticism, Until Death Overtakes Me or Hierophant to name a few...'O Solitude' is Pantheist's debut as a signed band, and it continues the saga captured on the very impressive '1000 years', the band's self-released Cd-r, from which a track or two are also appearing on 'O Solitude'. This album bears a rather good, or should I say an adequate production, intimate and quite mysterious, and though it is very well done, full and fat sounding, it never is too pompous or overdone. The music Pantheist composes is somewhat chaotic or non-linear as opposed to other funeral doom bands, but it is rather an all-encompassing excursion through uncharted emotional territories, a journey which holds many a surprises in its midst, making it impossible for the listener to guess where the music will take him the next moment, what landscapes will it unfold before his eyes, what emotional Pandora-boxes will it unlock...Pantheist's 'O Solitude' has a distinctive "religious" aura surrounding it, religious and mysterious, due to the massive use of church organs through out most of the album and due to Kostas', the vocalist, alto (or is it tenor?) monk-like chants and dirges, in between his turtle-like slow hellish grunts, which accompany the half-dreamlike, half-dream inducing music. This album without a doubt belongs to the ethereal side of the funeral doom genre, and it is so very such: The sound of angels weeping, singing and dancing in the heavens, the curse of the nephilim spat and cried at the betraying gods whom have forsaken them to crawl upon a barren earth, Pantheist uses dream-like material as the building stones for its music, not nightmares, but actually dreams themselves, dreams that manifest themselves into sounds, alternative states of being where bodies become spirits, brains transform into immaterial minds and what remains is only philosophy, wisdom and thoughts about the worlds beyond...But beyond what, one would ask? To this question I cannot find an answer using mechanical, technical abilities such as mere typing on my keyboard. This question can only be answered by the only tool available, the tool which is the music. Pantheist's music will be a very good starting point for all the curious out there with which to indulge all their curiosities, and more...Only those who would submit to the powers held inside this album, those who are able to let go of their endless control of their human reason and rationality and dare let the music take them with it, high above ground and far beyond the velvet orange-red clouds of the sunset-horizon, what great sights will be in wait: Feelings one never felt piercing one's heart, colors with which one never indulged one's vision, a great love to all creatures and creations and the overwhelming great fear of the inevitable end, the end that will terminate all this beauty...'O Solitude' translates into an experience as if the listener is confined into the smallest, damp and dark confession cell, in a vast church, a church the size of the universe, and while there is no one at sight miles and miles around, your soul grows wings and flies away, if only for the length of the album's hour or so...
© 2003 c. drishner