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Pandemia – At the Gates of Nihilism

At the Gates of Nihilism
by H.P. Buttcraft at 24 January 2015, 4:47 PM

If I was a hip-hop critic and PANDEMIA was a rapper, I would most likely write that PANDEMIA keeps it real. They keeps it old school, know what I’m saying? The band has been pumping out Czechoslovakian metal for the better part of two decades. And you can sense their old school presence even on their most recent record “At the Gates of Nihilism”.

It’s not easy to nail down exactly what genre PANDEMIA could be classified as. There are elements of PANTERA-like groove metal here but also some twinges of European death metal and thrash metal too. I can hear a huge influence from bands like GOJIRA, DARK TRANQUILITY and, who could’ve guessed this one from the album’s name, I can hear a little bit of AT THE GATES on their instrumental outro “Broken Soul of the Dying Soldier”. I think PANDEMIA are established enough to where you could put on this record and, if by chance there is a PANDEMIA fan close by, it wouldn’t be too hard to identify.

One of the reoccurring themes about the songs on “At the Gates of Nihilism” is its depiction of women. Just take a look at merely the titles of these tracks; “Godless Bitch” and “Harlots of War”. I find PANDEMIA’s depiction of women in its lyrics to be entirely tasteless and, as if metal isn’t enough of a parade of chauvinism already, songs like this make a clear statement about what kind of women PANDEMIA agree to surround themselves with.

Now, on one hand, I can see a tough-as-tempered steel female metalhead not really caring about the message behind these two particular songs a PANDEMIA more than likely has its share of females in its fan base. But if I were a just any member of the fairer sex, I believe my instinctual notion would be to completely avoid a band like PANDEMIA based on face value alone. Does this really affect me? No, but it may affect the impression I give off to others around me. Frankly, it’s not an issue of sorts but its something I wanted to point out about “At the Gates of Nihilism”.

But I think there isn’t enough on this record to make it memorable. It’s got some great guitar tones and I have zero complaints about the mixing or song arrangements. And even the crude nature of some of their songs isn’t what really dries up my interest for PANDEMIA. The songs are inspired but hardly ground-breaking and its hard to love something that’s been done hundreds of times before where nothing has been advanced or exceeded since the last music offering from PANDEMIA or another band like them. The facts are that, while PANDEMIA are doing nothing wrong or below par, “At the Gates of Nihilism” leaves you apathetic and its songs are greatly forgettable.

3 Star Rating

1. First Blood
2. Rotting In Mold
3. Nihilistic Age
4. Godless Bitch
5. Cult of God
6. Warmonger
7. Under Barbed Wire
8. Killed
9. Harlots of War
10. Zyklon B
11. Broken Sould of the Dying Soldier
12. After Thy Thought (Loudblast Cover) (Bonus Track)
Jaroslav “Jarda” Friedrich - Bass
Pavel Kouba – Drums
Jirka Krš – Vocals
Vitalij V. Novák – Guitars
Record Label: Mighty Music


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