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Tetrasomia EP

Eldritch Lunar Miasma (2013)
Rating: 7/10

The latest release from this Finnish black metal act comes in the form of a four track EP under the banner of Tetrasomia. Fans may be surprised upon hearing this composition, noting that Pantheon Of Blood have injected a bigger dose of melody this time around and opt for a more sprawling air of romanticism rather than a foetid air of gloom.

Even so, it’s still a fine line with these guys between the depressive and the enlightened as they craft four pieces that revolve around scratchy vocals. In fact it’s only the throaty evil vocal style that keeps this opus in the black metal realm at times, such is the almost traditional sound of tracks such as opener ‘Thunder Alchemy’. ‘Thunder Alchemy’ features such a catchy set of structures that one could almost see these guys on the 80s metal revival tip, if it wasn’t for that ashen guitar sound at times.

It’s interesting to note how black metal has evolved over the years, considering its only real aim during its birth was to spread words of hate. Acts such as Pantheon Of Blood are carving out contrasting landscapes steeped more in mythology and landscape worship however, rather than worshipping the seven gates of Hell.

This is none more evident than with the spacious whispers of ‘Stigma Ja Kolmikärki’. Typically primitive in its vocal yelps, ‘Stigma Ja Kolmikärki’ nonetheless offers more with its almost reflective guitars, while the drums are almost pleasant on the ears, providing an almost cool, rather than cold backbeat.

There are some critics who would regard this sort of black metal as depressive – and maybe that is the aim of the band – but I’ve always found this type of music rather accessible. This is evident on closing track ‘I.N.R.I. (Igne Natura Renovatur Integra)’ with its melodic riff and standard drum sound. If one removes the vocal from this type of noise, one realises just how catchy some of this stuff is and that any vocal could be applied to it, such is its accessibility.

Pantheon Of Blood may be one of many bands opting for this type of contrasting sound, but I’m a fan of this distorted guitar, mixed with haunting imagery and darker vocal sneers. This is black metal that celebrates the roots of man, rather than destroying it. Tetrasomia finds a nice balance between being haunting and nefarious, but without resorting to too many silly effects.

Neil Arnold

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