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Forbidden Rites - Pantheon Arcanum

Forbidden Rites
Pantheon Arcanum
by Chris Hawkins at 09 January 2019, 1:28 PM

FORBIDDEN RITES is a new band from Mexico.  They formed just back in 2017 and have now released their debut album, “Pantheon Arcanum”.  Theirs is a palatable mix of Death Metal’s intensity with the eerie mystique of Black Metal all the while retaining a firm grip on melody.

The album kicks off with “Human Mortuary Landscapes,” a very stoutly-realized conception of Blackened Death Metal that owes much to DISSECTION, a band that has been hugely influential over time and even more so seemingly evident as of late.  Like the masters, no matter how intense or fast the music becomes, there is a clearly defined element of melody that abides.  “Slavery Before the Soma,” the second track, has more of a Black Metal intensity displayed.  Any lover of 90s Euro-Black/Death Metal can find something likable about this.  They clearly have a competent knowledge of theory as there is a musical quality to everything that transpires.

Now that the Moon Illuminates the Remains,” the fourth track, begins with an exquisite minor key-based acoustic section.  Unlike what one would expect, the acoustic part is maintained during the verse section with distorted guitar playing single chords over it before the song explodes.  After a blasting section, they launch into a groove-based part rooted in the classics of Thrash.  It is hard not to dig the change-ups and inclusion of different musical styles.   The fifth track, “We Are Your Sinister,” has more of a mid-paced groove.  The echo of crashing cymbals accent the changing parts throughout with a crisp, clean productions that more than competently delivers a quality percussion sound.  Throughout the song, the band executes a sound that flows consistently and dazzles along the way.

The band have clearly done their homework in preparation for the creation of these songs.  With each guitarist panned hard to either side, a set of headphones allows the listener to hear the specific blending of harmonies that create the songs in whole.  The guitar tone is appropriate for the sound they are going for and their sound is supported by an active drummer and vocals with a heavy dosage of reverb for effect.

While theirs is a clearly defined path, the band must still be commended for their execution.  No, they don’t bring anything brand spanking new to the table, but their skill is in arrangement and diversity.  The music never once drifts into the land of boring or cliché.  How many bands, including ones that form the canon of genres we hold dear, have had such a cleanly executed heavy slab of a debut?

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  7
Memorability:  7
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Human Mortuary Landscapes
2. Slavery Before the Soma
3. Judgement
4. Now That the Moon Illuminates the Remains
5. We Are Your Sinister
6. Arcane Initiation
7. The Defeat of Man by Man
8. The Hope of the Abandoned
9. Reborn
Vlad Marin- Bass, Vocals
Hugo Olivos – Drums
Juan Carlos Martinez Valdez - Guitars
Raúl Campos San Lorenzo – Guitars
Record Label: Grimm Distribution


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Edited 26 November 2022

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