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Pander - Break the Oath

Break the Oath
by Kevin Lewis at 28 June 2022, 1:31 PM

PANDER is a three-piece Stoner/Doom Metal band from the northern area of the Netherlands. Formed in 2011, this trio is now a seasoned, veteran group, playing their own style of Hard Rock/Metal. “Break The Oath” is their latest stoner offering, self-released on April 1, 2022.

The disc starts with a mid-tempo rocker. “Earth’s Face” is a tuned down and has an excellent riff. The drums give it the illusion of being faster than it really intends to be. The bass is slow and steady. The tuning is pretty standard, but compelling anyway. The speed makes it feel a bit more dramatic than some songs in the same genre.

Ordeal” is almost 10 minutes long and it truly trudges along, never getting in a hurry. The tonal fade-in is pretty cool, but the riff is what catches you first. It is pure sludge. This track is in no hurry to get anywhere. The drums stay in pace on this one, making it feel like the time signature is almost non-existent. There are some harmonized backing vocals that give the song a bit of depth. Not true three-part harmonies, just backing vocals to add texture.

It Burns” and “Break the Oath” are longer songs as well. Four of the songs on this 10-track album are well over seven minutes. “Inside” also clocks in at just over eight minutes. PANDER is not afraid to extend their compositions when they feel the need, turning them into more of a jam session. The programmed sound effects take the songs to the next level, giving a lot of tonality and texture to the musical phrases. Some of the sound effects are eerie, others are almost alien/sci-fi.

The shorter songs are a bit more concise and faster paced. Even so, two of those songs are over five minutes with the other three over four minutes. The only short track on the entire disc is the 51 second “Bonha.”

Victimized” has a long intro, but once it gets to the main body of the song, it moves quickly. There is a sludge tuning, but the tempo is really fast compared to the longer songs. Same with “Krush.” These are both over what I consider even mid-tempo for PANDER. They drop the tempo in sections, but the shorter songs are definitely not meant to drag out the guitar tones for a full stoner/doom effect.

PANDER is not the typical Stoner Tock band. They dare to step up and play faster tempos and go for bigger, bolder tones. Rather than hover near the lows all the time, they climb into the almost old-school Heavy Metal realm of Ronnie James Dio era BLACK SABBATH. The vocals don’t go to that place, but the rhythms do. The vocals stay firmly entrenched in the lower ranges, keeping PANDER steady, maintaining their doom street cred. These guys are pretty ambitious and I like it. It’s not the same old thing all over again.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Earth’s Face
2. Ordeal
3. Deceit
4. It Burns
5. Break the Oath
6. Victimized
7. Krush
8. Bonha
9. Inside
10. Lost
Meindert Pander – Vocals/Guitars
Jurgen de Raad – Bass/Backing Vocals
Peter de Bruin – Drums/Electronic Textures/Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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