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Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise

Into Pandemonium
Darkest Rise
by Santiago Puyol at 17 February 2020, 5:59 AM

INTO PANDEMONIUM is an American Extreme Metal band, coming from Dayton, Ohio. "Darkest Rise" is their debut EP, released independently, and features a mixture of Black Metal, Melodeath, Technical Death Metal and a dash Progressive Metal. This six-piece band delivers a seven-track EP, clocking a couple of minutes under half an hour, being quite accessible in spite of its heaviness.

It opens with the title track, an intro song with some Post-Metal riffing, melodic and textured, easing the listener in. On its second half, it explodes violently, giving way to "Becoming". The first proper song on the album goes for a brutal start. High-pitched harsh vocals collide with lower growls, atop a blast beat assault right to your eyes. Dynamics are a bit skewed, production-wise, with the heavier sections suffering a little clipping. Everything rests on a memorable, nasty main riff.

"Violent Uprising" comes next, adding some thrashy riffing and drumming into the mix, before suddenly breaking into a more modern sound. Half-clear, half-harsh vocals add to the desperation conveyed by the song, as well as anguished screaming help the deranged mood. Its middle section goes hard, with proggy drumming and exquisitely melodic leads. Wanderer lays down some sick soloing on the guitar, highlighting the rich instrumentation. The track suffers from another weird production choices. The mixing sounds weird as do the volume dynamics. Cymbals splash excessively noisy, being a little distracting, while ending with a fade-out seems like an odd choice.

With an abrupt beginning, the EP gives way to its longest track, "Sound of Perfidy". This song makes an excellent use of silence as a writing tool. The stop-and-start structure it has builds an anxious, uneasy atmosphere. Tremolo sprinkles over heavy guitar, dizzying along. "Sound of Perfidy" is considerably melodic. The fluctuation between high- and low-pitched vocals makes for a dynamic experience, one that feels conversational and dialogic. Bells ringing and sinister chanting contribute to the uneasy ambience, as does the desperate screaming, buried in sound. The song breaks into an atmospheric second half, with Arkyn’s drums keeping things grounded, in a proggy manner. Another song that ends with a fade-out, fittingly in this case.

"La Morte" picks up the intensity, being probably the heaviest track on the EP. It features very tasteful lead guitar work, even some shredding. It truly is a hard-hitting song. Strong syncopation of the hi-hat adds a counterpoint to the loud and cavernous music. Meanwhile, "Fallen" falls on the Prog side again, with a spirit closer to "Violent Uprising". It features an AvantGarde-tingled noisy coda. Closer "Fathomless" makes for a relatively subdue finale, with its electronic sounds, atmospheric cleans and overall Post-Rock approach. In a way, it seems to be more of a strange coda rather than a proper ending. Still, there are some beautiful guitar patterns here and it is an enjoyable song.

"Darkest Rise" is an interesting debut for INTO PANDEMONIUM, conceptually rich even if lyrics are not always easy to follow within the Extreme Metal realm. The band goes for a narrative-heavy approach when it comes to lyrics, something that fits the vocal style, with its conversational nature.  The band is tight when it comes to playing, and the songwriting is creative and rich enough to keep you interesting, even if there is room for improvement, particularly when it comes to the openings and endings of certain tracks. Production is raw and rough, and hurts the full enjoyment of the EP. Still, INTO PANDEMONIUM show promise with this debut, with clear ideas and a vision of where they want to take their music. With a few tweaks they could improve considerably, no doubt about it.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Darkest Rise
2. Becoming
3. Violent Uprising
4. Sound of Perfidy
5. La Morte
6. Fallen
7. Fathomless
Saga – Vocals
Wanderer – Lead Guitar
Yomi – Rhythm Guitar
Zothoth – Rhythm Guitar
Jörmungandr – Bass
Arkyn – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 April 2020

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