Pantheïst / Underground Status Belies Their Quality And Class

Through a journey stretching over three decades, Kostas Panagiotou has spread his own brand of darkness and doom across the globe. An unknown name to many, but a vitally important figure in the Doom Metal world. Since forming Pantheïst in 2001, the Greek musician has never waivered from his vision.

Pantheïst – Kings Must Die (Melancholic Realm)

Release Date: 8 March 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Across several albums, including the most recent release, 2021’s stunning Closer To God, Panagiotou and an array of musicians have crafted a sound that is instantly recognisable and totally unique.

Pantheïst - Kings Must Die
Pantheïst – Kings Must Die

This release is an unusual EP. At 49 minutes in length but comprising only four tracks, it is a weighty tomb. One new track, Kings Must Die, is complemented by three live recordings, which are a bit special.

Inspired by the legendary Skepticism, as well as Baroque composers such as Bach, Pantheïst have always put pipe organ as central to their sound. Of course, that’s easier to say than to do, for few pipe organs are available. Still fewer to a band that crosses to the opposite side in many ways.

They are mainly located in churches, after all!

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Pantheïst. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

“It all started with a local drive to promote Huddersfield Town Hall’s pipe organ,” Panagiotou says, “as a versatile instrument which can give depth and volume to many musical genres, of which Doom Metal is naturally one due to its slow tempo and emphasis on heaviness”.

Reading the liner notes of the EP, it appears that this was a stressful show, with a mere ten-minute soundtrack due to technical challenges. A 300-strong crowd, swelled by the legend that is Arthur Brown, then thronged into the venue. The results are incredibly impressive.

Linda Dumitru - Pantheïst
Linda Dumitru – Pantheïst. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

But before the live songs, we get the sprawling title track, which features Grave Lines Jake Harding on lead vocals, as well as the soaring operatics of Linda Dumitru, now a fixture in the band’s live work.

A view of the changing political climate across the globe, Kings Must Die is a swirling, mesmerising, and totally captivating piece. Thick heavy doom-laden riffs compete with more delicate elements that draw on the likes of Pink Floyd, whilst the rich keyboards that Panagiotou makes the central pillar of the band’s sound are dominant without overpowering any other element of the song.

Harding’s cleans are startling in their contrast with Panagiotou’s snarling Black Metal roars, but the interplay works majestically.

Once you’ve digested this opus, you can sit back and revel in the majesty of the three live songs that make up the bulk of the EP. The brief 1000 Years from the band’s very early days segues into O Solitude, a gargantuan epic that leads to some very brief words of thanks from Panagiotou before the massive climax, the 24-minutes of Strange Times, from the last album, Closer to God.

It’s a fantastic piece, and the fact that the band had no opportunity to rehearse with David Pipe is incredible.

If Closer to God was almost the pinnacle of the band’s recorded output to date, then Kings Must Die is surely the dawn of another era for a band whose underground status belies their quality and class.

Sleeve Notes

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