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erik neuteboom
3 stars After the releases from Kayak, Earth &Fire and Finch the Dutch label Pseudonym Records surprised the progheads with the release from the obscure Dutch progrock band Pantheon. I had never heard of them, they existed between 1971 and 1974 and were once the support-act for famous fellow Dutch progrock bands Focus and Solution and The Steve Miller Band, their absolute highlight! In 1974 Pantheon called it a day because of the usual problems with money, at that moment the band members were no older than 21 years!

The five original compositions from their 1972 album Orion sound elaborate, melodic and varied featuring some wonderful twists and turns. The colouring of the songs is beautiful with organ, flute, saxophone and acoustic - and electric guitar, even a modular Moog synthesizer (in the short The Madman)! The musical influences are obvious from Ekseption and Solution (brass) but also Focus (organ sound and Jan Akkerman-like guitar work) but Pantheon doesn't sound as a clone. The highlight on this CD (that contains 3 bonustracks) is the long titletrack delivering lots of shifting moods, great build-up parts and powerful saxophone play. Enjoy this melodic and accessible progressive mix of rock, jazz and classic from my home country.

Report this review (#74099)
Posted Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is the only album from a dutch band to be released on the Vertigo "Swirl" label. It is also the only album Panthéon ever released. Panthéon made music similar to Focus and Solution. Jazzy, canterbury like progressive rock. They started as a fivepiece highschoolband and won a recording session at a national talent scout festival. The recorded single gave them attention and this paved the way to record an album.

The album opens with Daybreak, which resembles Focus' House Of The King a bit. The melody is played by the flute and it has a guitar solo in the middle. There are also some wordless vocals like Thijs van Leer could have done. Anaïs also reminds me of a softer song by Focus, again the song is driven by flute and guitar. It is a very peaceful track. With Apocalyps the sound changes more to the Solution direction. The main instruments are saxophone and organ, although the flute appears on this one also. This is a very sunny and jazzy track. The Madman is a funny short warm-up piece that leads to the highlight of the album, Orion. In this track both the Focus and the Solution side come together. It contains great melodies. I mention Focus and Solution a lot in this review, but that doesn't mean that Panthéon are just copy cats. They have an unique sound of their own, it is just to point out in which corner of the proglandscape Panthéon can be found.

The cd contains three bonus tracks, who were released as singles in 1972. Anaïs is an edit of the album track and Masturbation (at the time released as Master Basion because of the suggestive title) and I Want To Know would later be incorporated in Orion. This is a must for everyone who enjoys a good portion of instrumental prog.

Report this review (#76164)
Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars An interesting release from this Dutch band. Their only release, I am afraid.

PANTHEON's music can best be described as a mix of FOCUS and some bands from the Canterbury scene. Mostly the more jazzy tracks from these bands. A hint of CARAVAN can also be detected. But the flute and the brass draws more comparisions to FOCUS and EKSEPTION. Some delicate keyboards and guitars adds texture too. The music shifts with the moods. Mostly sweet moods and melodies.

The quality is good. Nothing special. The eighteen minutes long title track is the best track on this album. The music is pretty dull at times and requires a lot of the listener. I think this is a good album, but nothing more.

3 stars

Report this review (#203587)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Panthéon is a duth band that released only one album, this Orion (1972).

If you're a bit Focus fan and thinks that Camel is a super band, so this is your record. Beginning to end. Because really, Orion (1972) is a lame copy of both bands, especially from their Duth neighbours.

Being this their first album you could try to leave this matter aside, usually bands on their prime days show lots of influences from their favorite bands, but here it's impossible to just forget that.

If the band were born in the computer days, such as ours, I would say that they open their favorite songs from their favorite bands on an audio editor software use a CTRL+C / CTRL+V and create 'their own songs'.

My 2 stars comes almost only because of the track 'Apocalyps', the only original piece of music.

Report this review (#752906)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars PANTHÉON (or PANTHEON) was the other Dutch band that dabbled in the sounds from across the English channel, namely the Canterbury Scene along with the much more talented and better known Supersister. This band from Arnhem existed at the same time when Supersister was rocking the Netherlands but only managed to release a sole album titled ORION which came out in 1972. The band was founded in 1970 and went through some lineup changes but by the time the album was recorded the members were Albert Veldkamp (bass), Ruud Wouterson (vocals, keyboards), Hans Boer (saxophone, harmonica, vocals) and Rob Verhoeven (drums). Oh, and PANTHEON is also known as being the only Dutch band that was on the Vertigo label.

The comparisons of Focus meets Camel are totally accurate. This band was sort of a symphonic prog band that added the distinct flute sounds of Focus while engaging in those distinct Canterbury jazz modulations. ORION originally consisted of five tracks which included two shorties ("Daybreak" and "The Madman"), one standard track length ("Anaïs") and two lengthy ones. "Apocalyps" was just shy of 11 minutes and the monster track on board was the 19 1/2 minute title track which swallowed all of side B on the original vinyl. The Focus influences make a lot more sense considering that PANTHEON performed with Focus as well as fellow Dutchies Solution and even the Steve Miller Band of all artists.

ORION is an album of subtleties and nuances. PANTHEON was not one of those flashy prog bands that dished out virtuosic explosiveness much like fellow countrymen Supersister. This band was about crafting smooth flowing chill sessions that resulted in a unique hybrid of mellow symphonic prog a la Camel and also a consistent flow of inspiration from Focus especially that style exhibited on the track "Eruption" from "Focus II." Add a little Canterbury quickness and charm to the mix along with occasional vocals and PANTHEON crafted a very unique mix of contemporary progressive rock excellence. This could be considered a very melodic style of prog as the band was very much about crafting rather accessible melodies and nurturing them at all costs therefore virtuosic performances are pretty much avoided and soft sensual craftsmanship rules the day.

There is not a lot of difference between side A and side B but the title track clearly rules the roost here but once again it totally follows in the footsteps of Focus' "Eruption" in composition but sets itself about from the Canterbury jazz chords that at times make it sounds a bit like Soft Machine on "Third," "Fourth," "Fifth" and beyond. This one is fairly simple in its layout and doesn't deviate much from the master plan and could even be considered wimpy because it's not nearly as bold and daring as a lot of prog was in the year of 1972 but yet PANTHEON were mastered of self-control and crafted a rather beautiful mix of the aforementioned styles on board. I actually think this is a pretty fascinating album that doesn't seem to get as much love as it probably should due to the fact that this band was in the shadow of Supersister.

Whatever the case, PANTHEON didn't exactly set the world on fire and given the crowded arenas of prog during the year ORION was released it's no wonder this band got demoted to bottom dwellers in the sea of excellence that was flooding the market however i cannot see why this one wasn't more revered as it provides an excellent listening experience. Yeah, the influences are worn proudly on sleeves and a sophomore release could've found the band blossoming into even more original nooks and crannies of the prog potentials but although this band only released this one album, i have to say that it is one that is quite consistently pleasant with enough idiosyncratic gusto to make it a compelling listen. Definitely not as OMG brilliant as Supersister but certainly more interesting than many make it out to be. Me likey!

Report this review (#2532512)
Posted Tuesday, April 6, 2021 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars PANTHEON were a four piece band out of The Netherlands releasing this one album back in 1972. They were the first Dutch band to be signed by the Vertigo label. And they play Canterbury music! So we get flute, sax and a variety of keyboards along with the usual instruments. This is a band who can create some memorable melodies to say the least. I think my only complaint is how lightweight it is at times but we don't veer into that territory very often.

So glad to see SillyPuppy's 4 stars and Tom Hayes giving this 4.5 stars, I'm in good company with my four star rating. I say this because there are some low ratings for this one and I'm not sure why. This was love at first listen and the only thing missing is the distorted keyboards that are so common in this style of music. The first three tracks are my favourites then there's a short 1 1/2 minute tune called "The Madman" and then the side long self titled suite worth 19 1/2 minutes. I do like that long track "Orion" but it could have been a lot better as I feel they nailed the first three songs big time.

"Daybreak" is short at 2 1/2 minutes but it's almost like finger food before the main course arrives. Love the vocal melodies which are so Canterbury and we get plenty of flute and piano too. A lively and fun song with some tasteful guitar as well. Unlike the opener "Anais" is a melancholic piece at 5 minutes. Flute, guitar, synths and some jazzy drum work here. Some repeated themes here and it does brighten before 3 minutes which lasts a minute then we get some light sounds I'm not big on.

"Apocalyps" is an 11 minute long tune and they come out swinging with sax, organ and synths standing out before calming right down with floating organ. It kicks back in then we get a steady sound that's sax led reminding me of WIGWAM. The tempo will continue to shift and flute will lead next. The next calm features some vocal melodies, organ and piano. I like the jazzy drumming after 3 minutes. Jazzy guitar leads before 5 minutes and it will return again before 7 minutes with flute, bass and drums before more vocal melodies. These guys are so good at repeating themes.

I consider myself a huge Canterbury fan and this is one of those lost treasures in my opinion that makes "the hunt" so worth it.

Report this review (#2656299)
Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2021 | Review Permalink

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