Review by Allan on November 12, 2002.
The Swedish metal scene as of the past few years has been swamped with melodic death metal clones. They’re everywhere, and it seems as if it’s the only thing that Sweden has the ability to churn out. Despite the fact that Sweden is quickly digging itself into a hole, there are still respectable acts doing their own thing. That’s where Pandemonium and their new album "Insomnia" make their entrance.
Pandemonium’s sound it’s somewhat unique. I’m not saying that what they’re doing hasn’t been done before, but it hasn’t developed into a style that can easily replicated or called generic. The core of Pandemonium’s sound is early Swedish melodic metal, surrounded by both progressive and death metal.
While listening to Pandemonium you’ll notice that they hold a bit more than just the basics. Along with the influences, they also offer you keyboards and three vocalists. These different elements in Pandemonium’s music have been influenced by progressive music, as one can clearly tell by the Andromeda-esque keyboard style, clean vocals, and song structure.
The keyboards aren’t limited to only joyful sounding melodies. Many times the keyboards create a haunting backdrop for the music. At times they’ll also make their way to the foreground and take the lead, or serve as a transitional piece between songs. The vocalist approach is also a particularly nice feature of Pandemonium’s music. Pandemonium has three different vocalists: clean, black, and death - each of them decent at their respective style. At times Pandemonium also do vocal layering between the different styles, which together sound excellent. My only gripe about the vocals is that due to the production, the clean vocals are really low in the mix. They’re audible but they struggle to be heard amongst the instrumentation.
What Pandemonium should concentrate on at this point is developing their composition abilities further. They’re good, and the songs are able to keep the listeners attention fixated on the music, but some of the segments and transitions could have been developed further. Pandemonium could also work on tying the themes of their songs in more tightly, seeing as sometimes the different sections don’t exactly work extremely well together.
Bottom Line: If you love melodic metal but have grown tired from the lack of innovation, Pandemonium can offer you a new take on the sound while bringing in new elements instead of sticking to the basics.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7 out of 10