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Pan-Thy-Monium: Dawn of Dream/Khaooohs

This 2CD reissue set courtesy of Osmose Productions contains two early 90's releases from Sweden's Pan-Thy-Monium, another of Dan Swano's many projects. Dawn of Dream was originally released in 1992, and followed up a year later by Khaooohs. The band was originally supposed to be somewhat of a secret, as the members (who were mostly from Swano's band Edge of Sanity) used strange names, sang vocals that were impossible to understand, and had song titles that were either NOT titled, in another language,or made little sense. Despite all this, the music was very avant-garde, certainly very much in the death metal school, but with healthy doses of prog rock as well as jazz.

Dawn of Dream is made up of seven untitled pieces, the first being a lengthy 18 minute death-jazz-prog affair that is actually one of the most exciting the band had recorded, complete with plenty of monster riffs, brutal death grunts, atmospheric keyboards, trippy sound effects, and slippery bass leads (played by Swano). The lead vocals of Direlict (Robert Karlsson, who also later replaced Swano in Edge of Sanity) are firmly in the old school death metal growl category, and don't expect to understand a word of it, but they are quite effective here. Track number two is a slowed down doom/death dirge with ponderous riffs and torturous growls, while the third and fourth tracks mix it up between spooky avant-prog and rampaging death metal. On the fifth and sixth pieces expect more of the same, but throw in the occasional free-jazz sax break to make things even more odd. The last track is a wild display of all the elements, with slow, ponderous riffs, death march rhythms, squonking sax, and eerie keyboards. Can I be honest and say that I really don't understand all of this mayhem? Sure. But is the music of Dawn of Dream riveting nontheless? Absolutely.

Khaooohs sees things follow a similar but slightly more refined path, as the band are trying to offer up more song type structures. "Under Ytan" actually is a very good melodic death metal song, with crunchy riffs, tasty wah-wah leads, intricate drum work, and plenty of effective growls. They change the tempo and pace of the song a few times, as it starts as a mid to fast paced rocker then eventually morphs into a grueling and ponderous death dirge. Keyboards are used throughout the album, mostly as background effects, like the bubbling synths on "Jag & Vem", which almost sound out of place amidst all the crushing mayhem, and add an ethereal touch to the complex "Lava", a tune that also features plenty of melodic guitar leads and jazzy sax solos. It's pretty wild hearing a tasty, almost bluesy guitar lead, followed by a charming sax break, then death metal vocals fire back into the mix! "Ekkhoeece III" is a gruesome piece, and a perfect narrative to your worst nightmare, and "Utsikl" is an absolutely crushing slice of slowed down death metal with creepy keyboards, but it sounds like it was recorded in old haunted house, which I think was the intention.

After listening to the works of Pan-Thy-Monium, you'll surely think that you've never heard anything quite like it, and probably never will. Fans of the career of Dan Swano & Edge of Sanity will certainly want to check out these two rarities and dive into the rest of the short Pan-Thy-Monium discography. Avant-garde metal will most definitely have a new meening after you have done so.

Track Listing
Disc: 1 -Dawn of Dreams
1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Untitled
5. Untitled
6. Untitled
7. Untitled
Disc: 2 - Khaooohs
1. I Manens Sken Dog En Skugga
2. Under Ytan
3. Jag & Vem
4. Lava
5. Lomska Forsat
6. I Vindens FVald
7. Klieveage
8. Ekkhoeece III
9. Khaooohs I
10. Utsikl
11. Khaooohs II

Added: January 21st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Osmose Productions
Hits: 3695
Language: english

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