York, England’s Pantheon is a promising act that has just released their second EP, INTERVENTION. Performing as a four-piece, the band formed in 2006 playing numerous club dates and releasing a previous EP and a couple of demos. Called the “most metal band in York”, by Soundsphere Magazine, the band has been gaining momentum in England and is looking to capitalize on that by reaching a wider audience. Thus, the band has switched styles to a certain extent, abandoning the full on thrash assault of previous releases for a mix of NWOBHM, elements of doom, and snippets of thrash most noticeable in the many tremolo picked passages within the four tunes on the EP.
If you were to describe INVERVENTION in one work it would be “unrefined”, both in a good and questionable sense. Good would be in the hopelessly underground commitment of the EP, trends and commercial aspirations be damned, the band play what they want even if they do want more people to hear it. Good would also include the respectable but unrefined production job, adequate without sounding polished. Final positive would be the marriage of doom and NWOBHM riffs, uncomplicated and suitably weighty. Questionable would be Simon Dawson’s “I am not even gonna try” vocals, marred by laziness, no range, and an unmistakable lack of synergy with the music. Couple that with sparse, almost underwritten songs that crave a hook that never materializes and you have “unrefined” but in a bad sense.
Album opener “Voice Of Hate” is certainly a decent tune, a down tuned mid paced stomper that appropriately gets the neck moving. Just to clarify, there is nothing wrong at all with Pantheon or INTERVENTION, it is just pretty standard fare. Not overtly heavy, and not really embracing any one style it is hard to latch on to what the band’s vision is. The potential is unmistakable, you can hear it in several places on INTERVENTION, but… well they are not ready for prime time yet. Recommended for fans of NWOBHM with a taste of thrash and doom.
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1. Voice of Hate
3. Black Gold
4. Silent Apocalypse