Polish black-death veterans Pandemonium are about to release yet another slab of darkness and evil in the form of the Misanthropy-album upon the world.
The cover art is simple and darj, yet with a shades and depth. This also describes the music quite well. Drawing on black metal, death metal and doom metal, Pandemonium operate with riffage which is fairly simple and compositions which are not too complex (it should be mentioned that we are not dealing with dumbed down music in any way). The influence from the three genres is quite well balanced. From black metal, Misanthropy has inherited the emphasis on expression and repetition, and, from doom metal, it has inherited the many heavy passages and the overall doom-ladden atmosphere – and all of this is wrapped in the brutality of death metal.
The interesting thing here is that the album is simultaneously consistent – bordering on monotonous to some people, I can imagine – and varied and multifaceted in terms of melody and modes of expression (there are even a couple of tracks that feature amazing female vocals that combine operatic singing with a more Eastern touch). And it is this paradox which is so well reflected in the coverart.
In terms of musicianship and songwriting, Misanthropy is a very fine piece of work, and we are definitely dealing with experienced and skilled musicians. Unfortunately for me, the vocals do not appeal to me at all – I have given the album a lot of spins now, and still there is absolutely nothing about the vocals (except the above-mentioned female vocals, of course) that appeals to me. In fact, I find the vocals quite off-putting, and they disturb my overall listening experience. It rarely happens to me that extreme metal vocals disagree with me so much that I cannot abstract from them, but apparently the range of extreme metal vocal techniques used on this album, ranging from growls over what sounds like puking to very cookie-monster-like vocals, are too much for me to handle.
But, let me reiterate, musically, this is a very interesting and very well put together album, and fans of blackened death metal and death doom should definitely check out Misanthropy - who knows, you might even love the vocals.
1. The Black Forest
2. God Delusion
3. Necro Judas
4. Stones Are Eternal
5. Avant-Garde Underground
6. Everlasting Opposition
7. Only the Dead Will See the End of War