From the blasting that the listener is met with on the first track of Pantheon I's fourth album, Worlds I Create, you would not be surprised to know that my initial thoughts of this album were that it was going to be another Symphonic black metal hyper blast fest but as "Myself Above All" continues on it starts to calm, sure there is still some dark intentions behind the music, but it has a more composed feel to that shows that the former 1349 guitarist can whip up a raging black metal storm but with a certain sensitive sensibility to it. This may be because of the use of a full time cellist throughout the album adding touches of morbid depression but even so the songs seem well developed musically; keeping an evil, yet sophisticated air about them.
I think there are a few questions that can be raised about this album though and the main one pertaining to the half assed progressive stance it has. I mean the use of the cello points out a certain experimentation that the band has but it leaves it at that. It never goes forward and adds anything else to the sound that could give it the atmosphere that they are obviously looking for. Now I'm not suggesting that the band goes ahead and starts trying for the Dimmu Borgir sound but it's as though they are stuck with what to do. Whether they move forward into the over top symphonic sound or whether they take a step back and try on a more atmospheric doomy black metal sound but I think they need to do something as they are stuck with a strange mix of the two. They have too good a production and too much going on in terms of sound to be able to pull off the atmosphere that they wanted but they don't have enough grandeur to capture the symphonic blitz that is taking place.
Now this is a decent album but it doesn't get me off my seat and rushing to the bathroom so I don't piss my pants. Certain songs capture your attention like the aforementioned "Myself Above All", while others are dreary and repetitive such as "Burn The Cross" (although this does have me shouting out BURN THE CROSS! during the chorus) and "Bannlyst" which is extremely forgettable especially when the, aptly named, stand out track "The Last Stand" is right after it; incorporating much of the best aspects of Pantheon I's sound into the one song.
In terms of modern, well produced black metal this is a good album that retains some fire in its belly through out the whole listening experience; giving the listener exactly what they would have wanted, which is hellish black metal with some decent melodies and a pot full of hatred. Its just too bad that this listener wanted more.
1. Myself Above All
2. Defile the Trinity
3. Serpent Christ
5. Burn The Cross
7. The Last Stand
8. Written In Sand