Founded in 2009, Pantheon of Blood had their aesthetic nailed down from the start: gnawing, tense black metal, somehow sky-spanning and even a bit mystical. That they hailed from Finland’s always-fertile black metal underground was both a surprise, and it wasn’t; certainly the quality was just as high as those who came before, but alongside such bands as Verge, Cosmic Church, Rahu, Charnel Winds, Arvet, and Saturnian Winds among others, this new breed of Finnish UGBM was confidently striding out upon their own, unique territory. Pantheon of Blood joined that march with 2010’s self-titled debut demo, and across three successive EPs and a split, they subtly expanded upon that aesthetic and developed the mysticism further, in line with their lyrical conceits of blood mysticism understood in a metaphysical manner as well ideas from Western and Eastern occultism.
At long last, Pantheon of Blood‘s too-long-secret mastery has arrived in Voices Rooted in Blood, which compiles nearly all of the band’s recordings to date. The mesmerizing and totally evocative cover art by W. Hewlett / Will-Helm Arts is but just a foretaste of the treasures lurking within its frequencies. From the raw ‘n’ rich Pantheon of Blood demo on to the crude-yet-sophisticated Consociatio Solis et Lunae EP that followed a year later, Pantheon of Blood continued to take their songwriting down bolder and more labyrinthine paths, arguably hitting a fever pitch with 2018’s Purgatorial Awakening (the title itself should say enough about the band’s blossoming oeuvre). Taken together as a long-form work, then, each of these 10 compact-as-fuck mini-epics seemingly explode with filth and fury but then wind and wend down dark, treacherous corners of the soul, locating a paradoxical axis of refinement and rawness, unadornment and splendor, all-caps BLACK METAL and sensations floating well beyond. In fact, “floating” aptly describes Voices Rooted in Blood‘s trajectory – ethereal yet grimy, melodic but malevolent, tangibly human in its physicality whilst looming like a metaphysical titan – these contrasts central to Pantheon of Blood‘s ever-growing/potent cauldron of magick.
The old Finnish black metal is dead. Long live the new with Pantheon of Blood‘s Voices Rooted in Blood!