Pantheon I - The Wanderer and His Shadow (Candlelight Records) - Back
Pantheon-I is black metal featuring current and former members of 1349, the band also employs a full time cello player. This was pretty much all that I knew about the band when I listened to "The Wanderer and His Shadow" for the first time. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

"The Wanderer and His Shadow" has an interesting and progressive sound. All of the hallmarks of modern black metal are present, but with a few subtle differences that really make this band unique. The most obvious difference is the use of the cello. Pantheon-I do not employ a keyboard player, but the cello fills a similar role to what we have become accustom to from keyboards in this type of music. It’s a support role, but an important one, as the cello’s presence adds depth to them music. The bass guitar also plays a larger role on this album than on may other black metal releases. You can easily pick out the bass lines throughout, and during some of the slower moments the bass is allowed to take center stage. "The Wanderer and His Shadow" is for the most part melodic black metal but the arrangements are pretty complex and enough straight ahead blasting is mixed in to maintain a healthy level of aggression. The mix is very balanced, allowing each instrument to be heard, without any of them being overpowered. The production in general is very good, keeping a cold enough feel to sound like a black metal release but avoiding the muddy, tinny sound that is often associated with the genre.

"The Wanderer and His Shadow" is an interesting release that presents a slightly different take on Black Metal. Most importantly, Pantheon-I have managed to created atmosphere without writing atmospheric music, a rare thing indeed. Highlights include “Cyanide Storm,” “Coming to an End” (features guest vox by L. Nedland of Solefald) and “My Curse.” I have a feeling that the best is yet to come from Pantheon-I.

Rating:
87

Reviewed By: Garett F.