THE WANDERER AND HIS SHADOW
Norwegian black metal outfit Pantheon I have the chops to bludgeon you with blast beats and barrages of blistering guitars, and they do use their destructive devices amply on tracks from THE WANDERER AND HIS SHADOW like the uneasy bashing of "Origin of Sin". Yet this trio (featuring ex-1349 member Andre Kvebek) decidedly take their darkened rampages into different parts of the thick forests and vast caves where most in the genre dwell creatively a la Opeth. Operatic arrangements and virtuoso playing upgrade this crew from the onset, giving them a gracefulness most with corpsepaint couldn't muster. Powerfully precise while championing a massive presence, Pantheon I take their extreme music to elegant places, resulting in a jarring yet tantalizing listening experience.