Saint Deamon - Pandeamonium 4/5

Reviewed: 6-12-09





Tracklist:

1. Deception
2. The only one sane
3. Pandeamonium
4. Eyes of the Devil
5. A day to come
6. Way home
7. Fallen angel
8. The deamon within
9. Oceans of glory
10. Fear in a fragile mind


Arriving in 2009 is the 2nd release from Sweden’s own Saint Deamon, entitled ‘Pandeamonium’. Their first CD was released in January 2008, so it has been just over 15 months between releases. Saint Deamon is comprised of 2 musicians from the now split-up Dionysus and also featuring the ex-vocalist of Highland Glory, Jan Thore Grefstad.

The debut CD ‘In shadows lost from the brave’ was a decent, yet standard power metal release, which pretty much went un-noticed in the metal world. With influences ranging from (early) Nocturnal Rites and Heavenly, Guardians of Time and Dreamtale; Saint Deamon’s debut release sounded quite similar to Grefstad’s previous band, Highland Glory. With the band’s 2nd CD now under their belt, it should now be clear just where Saint Deamon are heading in terms of sound, signature and stature.

Still retaining a European melodic/power metal sound, ‘Pandeamonium’ sounds quite fresh, exciting and matured; incorporating an improved epic/bombastic feel. Produced by Roy-Z and Jens Bogren, the improvements from the debut release are immense, with Saint Deamon undertaking a heavier feel, especially with the guitars and drumming. Bass guitar has also been given a tweak and has great influence throughout the CD.

With ‘In shadows lost from the brave’, the majority of the tracks basically followed the same structure and sound, but ‘Pandeamonium’ is quite diverse with tracks raging from speedy rockers to melodic and emotional mid-paced epics, and rounded of with heavy bombastic ballads. The first track which should be mentioned on the release would be the brilliant title track “Pandeamonium”. The track can be considered a power-ballad, containing a great driving beat and an emotional/melodic feel; reminding me of Saint Deamon’s best track on their debut release, entitled “My heart”.

There is now no real similarity to Highland Glory at all, which is a great thing for this band; who have indeed found themselves their own niche. Only a few tracks are reminiscent to the sound from Saint Deamon’s debut release, and they include the CD opener “Deception” and the very cliché “Oceans of glory”. Showing some diversity on the release, tracks like the pummeling “The deamon within” and “Way home” borderlines on modern European heavy metal; drawing comparisons to the recent sounds of Steel Attack. Examples of the band’s newfound aggression can be found with the tracks “The only one sane” and “Eyes of the Devil”, both great songs I must say, with wicked solos, riffs and outstanding drumming.

Saint Deamon brings the tempo down again for the memorable power-ballad “A day to come”; again incorporating heavy guitars and giving it an epic feel with some symphonic/orchestral elements. Accolades must be given to vocalist Jan Thore Grefstad for his superb effort on ‘Pandeamonium’. His delivery and the impact he has on these songs has never been so strong, including Saint Deamon’s first CD and all of Highland Glory’s releases.

Saint Deamon has done very well with their 2nd release, easily surpassing their debut. Saint Deamon may have taken the “safe” method with their first CD, in terms of sound; ‘Pandeamonium’ on the other hand is quite different, where the songwriters have really been taken off the leash. The end result is this wonderfully constructed CD which delves into many metal genres, not just sticking to the typical melodic/power metal sound that was evident on the last release. The added aggression and heaviness of the guitars constantly jumps out at you and is a greatly welcomed addition to the band’s re-vamped sound.

I highly recommend “Pandeamonium”, and fans of melodic/power metal and modern heavy metal should really check this out, as those particular fans will be greatly surprised.



SEAN




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