Review Summary: Let there be Khaooohs... Let there be Kon-Fus-Ion... Let there be Pan.Thy.Monium!
The sudden guitar lick sets up everything Pan.Thy.Monium aims to accomplish. Straight after that, the listener is brought to an unearthly void. This void spans 33 minutes and will take you on the musical accompaniment of madness that involves the lore of Raagoonshinnah, the fictitious god of emptiness and doom. This void also contains a level of strangeness that demands all attention of the listener, almost physically forcing him or her to remain in an engaged confusion.
This engagement is never lost in the void, as whatever musical style is being performed is regularly changed, as to keep the listener on their toes. All variations on the prevalent Progressive Extreme Metal are done with respect and restraint, as to not become campy or ill-prepared. These constant changes and variations lend very strongly to contrast, meaning most elements have direct opposites. For the dynamic and intense speed portions, there will be a foreboding and dark, yet much quieter, moment to let the atmosphere build and let both parts standout in the mind more, rather than if all portions of the music sounded similar.
The song writing goes in hand with the skill of the musicians, making every portion of the music shine. The guitar can range from heavy and crunchy riffs to slow and brooding chords, as well as being able to tackle progressive rock flavored solos and accompany morbid soundscapes. The drumming is subtle, yet skillful, helping it blend into the music and keeping it from being completely overpowering. The bass playing is consistently pounding and heavy, making the experience even more monolithic and cataclysmic. The vocals themselves become an instrument, incorporating vocal stylings from many different sub-genres of extreme metal, which lets the vocals be just as brooding and intense as the parts they are used in. All of the elements come together with brilliant usage of brass and woodwind instruments, including horns, flutes, and a deranged sounding saxophone. The brilliance of the composition lies in the band only using the elements when they are needed, so that the parts that need space to breathe don't feel over clustered.
Throughout the first two portions of this void, clocking in at around 27 minutes, the levels of excited chaos are high and palpaple, which makes the six minutes and forty seconds entitled Behrial even more beautiful. This home stretch is exciting in a different way. It is grand and sweeping, with a subtle coldness to it. It conjures the vision of a cold, gray morning where the constant maddening battle is over, leaving a period of peace and a standstill of conflict. The beauty of this ending strongly contrasts the intensity of the experience thus far, drawing parallels to the Pan.Thy.Monium lore, depicting Raagoonshinnah and Amaraah, the god of light, in a battle of the gods.
Once the third portion of this adventure is over, there is one last section of the void, entitled In Remembrance, which is one minute of silence. This can be seen as a moment of reflection on the world you brushed past in such a short amount of time. And, with this, the experience is over, leaving you back into reality, with the memory of your experience as the only thing left of the adventure. That is, at least, until the next time you decide to listen to the chaos and the confusion.