Review Summary: dark and brilliant beginnings
Following their murky and sometimes otherworldly EP Dream II
, their debut album expands on all their established traits of dark whimsy and shapes Pan.Thy.Monium as perhaps the most alien of Dan Swanö's many projects.
Beginning with the sound of saxophone over clocks ticking, the monolithic twenty-two minute opener descends into churning, otherworldly darkness, a subtle sense of paranoia and anxiety pervading its composition. Vocalist Robert Karlsson's deep, rumbling growls act as a sort of percussion; representing the album's own dark atmosphere as a sort of faceless alien menace, lyrics imperceptible or non-existent.
The rest of the record unfolds as a series of six much smaller pieces, carrying on in much the same vein as the opener, doom-laden death metal often accentuated with a distinct sense of groove and progressive leanings, complete with production about as stellar as it could be at the same; dynamic and meaty, Swanö's bass lines clear in the mix and occasionally stealing the show.
This is the true start to one of the most woefully (and willfully) underappreciated acts in the genre, not to be underestimated.