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Pantommind - Lunasense CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.09 | 28 ratings

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5 stars After the stunning first full length record "Shade Of Fate", the Bulgarian progressive metal band Pantommind didn't only try to copy its first album but tried out a couple of new things on this second album. While this progression seems very positive at first sight, there are still a few little reasons why I prefer their first output.

"Lunasense" sounds heavier and straighter than the first album. It includes more unpredictable and unexpected changes of style, some fast and sharp guitar solos and the band sounds even more versatile and open-minded than on the first output. The vocals have also changed and remind me less of Dream Theater or Fates Warning but rather of a mixture of X Japan and Symphony X. This new ambitious diversity has though a little negative effect. Sometimes, the vocals sound too forced and not as natural and emotional as they could. Sometimes the heaviness of the music and the new degree of diversity suffocate the magic melodies and profound atmosphere that dominated the first album and that are still but logically less present in some parts of this follow-up. Sometimes the different new and old influences of the band harm the coherence and flow of the record that sounds a little bit more twisted and complicated than the one before. "Lunasense" is without a doubt an intriguing and diversified record and I honour the courage of the band to move on but I personally prefer the laid back sounds of "Shade Of Fate" where the band excelled. Sometimes less can be more in the progressive rock or metal genre.

But there are though many positive things that justify my high rating. This album may seem bulky at a first try but it opens the more and more you listen to it. You always get something new to discover and have new favourite tracks depending on your mood and taste of the moment. A good example for this kind of phenomenon and a track that represents well the new face of the band is the song "Blank". It starts with a slow and very catchy riff to turn into a heavier riff that picks up the main melody. The verses sound like epic power metal while the bridge has many breaks and focuses on a dark atmosphere featuring a discordant guitar solo with some Arabian folk vibes. The song fades though out with some eerie futuristic keyboard vibes. Already the opener "Erasable Tears" is after one out of two great short instrumental songs a track that defines the new directions of the band. It features some really sharp riffs, energizing, versatile but maybe a little bit too high pitched vocals, weird sound effects and a healthy dose of speed that hasn't be present on the band's first strike. This track is maybe the hardest and most complex track the band has ever written.

While these tracks are enjoyable but less directly addicting, there are still songs like the calm, epic and very atmospheric "Sandglass" with its oriental vibes or the keyboard orientated early Dream Theater homage "Letter To No One". These tracks might on the other hand please very much to fans of the first record and prove that the band's changes have not been too radical and permanent. The progression is perpetual, easy to digest and logical after all. Even if they add nothing new to the formula with these songs, they happen to be my favourite ones on the album because they have so much soul and such a warm vibe that a fan of progressive music simply can't criticize these lost pearls.

In the end, the band equally and almost perfectly mixes the sound of its first record with new influences. I prefer the vibes of "Shade Of Fate" but I'm also able to enjoy the new face of the band, too. Some tracks like "Wolf" or "To The Days Of Old" also mix both sides and help to create the transition between both sides of the band's musical medal. The new one is definitely technically interesting, musically diversified and adds a surprising and changing touch to the record. This new style needs some time to grow without a doubt but the songs in fact improved as time went by and I happen to discover more and more shiny facets and interesting elements in the band's sound even if the tracks are only slightly more complex than the material they have written before. That's why this record is also quite close to perfection and in the end a surprisingly worthy follow-up of the maybe unbeatable masterpiece that has been "Shade Of Fate". I only cut off five little points because this record that we have here is less easy to approach and doesn't have a perfect flow as the first strike but there are still no real stinkers on this output so you should definitely check this band and its music out if you haven't done so yet. I wish these guys would be more recognized for the great work they have done over the years in hard conditions and in an exotic country.

Originally published on on January 10th of the year 2012.

kluseba | 5/5 |


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