PANDEMIA – At the Gates of Nihilism
Death metal may have gone through numerous off shoots – more technical, more brutal, or more evil – but there’s just something so comfortable about acts that stay true to the ideals of old school death metal. Pandemia hail from the Czech Republic and on their fifth album "At the Gates of Nihilism" keep their style in tune with the greats like Vader, Death, or Bolt Thrower. Piling on riff after riff while accenting tempos in a pummeling, sucking air out of the vortex manner, you can’t deny the viciousness of "Rotting in Mold", "Cult of God", or "Harlots of War". The eyes are on catchiness, even amidst the blasting, growls, or semi-technical passages – and that’s where Pandemia succeeds where others fail.
You don’t even mind the twin "Pull the Plug" comparisons for "Zyklon B", because this is tight, uncompromising death metal that has its heart and passion in the right place – just when thrash metal was becoming too cliché and musicians sought to dig deeper into the underground. Looks like I need to seek out some back catalog discography from this act.