"Riven" (Metal Age; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

My first encounter with Pandemia was way back in 2000 via the band’s debut full-length CD “Spreading The Message.” Although I was new to the kind of brutality that death metal offers I was impressed enough with Pandemia to award “Spreading The Message” three chainsaws – this means I was actually fairly impressed the first time around. 

I never did have a chance to hear Pandemia’s second full-length offering, “Personal Demon,” but generally remember the CD receiving fairly decent reviews. I was still pleased to have the opportunity to review the band’s third release “Riven.”

With “Riven,” Pandemia blend traditional blazing brutal death technicality with some very interesting changes to the genre’s sound. On occasion Pandemia play slower than traditional death metal typically allows while providing a backdrop of nearly progressive rhythmic twists. This kind of non-standard approach gives Pandemia a chance to display their songwriting savvy and give depth to every song. When we think of aggressive music we often think “loud, fast, and heavy” soon followed by “louder, faster, and heavier.” Pandemia prove on “Riven” that not strictly adhering to that particular philosophy all of the time can be a good thing.

Included on “Riven” are two instrumental tracks – I’m a sucker for instrumental songs. The first one is a dark, brooding reprieve from the death metal intensity while the second instrumental, “All Alone,” closes the CD in a contemplative fashion. 

With “Riven” Pandemia have put together a solid (and sometimes very impressive) album. Any self-respecting fan of death metal would be wise to check out these Czechs.

Pandemia: Michal on vocals, Alex on guitars, Jarda on bass, and Pavel on drums.

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"Riven" (Metal Age; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

As my musical tastes continue to explore the heavier side of metal, I find myself attracted to bands like Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork and Opeth. Now, bands like those have prepared me for Pandemia. 

The fierceness, the drive and the amazing storytelling ability on "Riven" puts Pandemia very high on my list of great metal acts out there today. 

"Riven" is full of dark images and inventive music that will grab the listener from the beginning. 

For more information, check out where you'll find some .mp3 samples. 

Spreading the Message" (Lost Disciple; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Czech Republic's Pandemia is death metal with touches of brutal death and thrash riffs. "Spreading The Message" is unadulterated by trends or fancy instrumentation - this is straight-to-the-gut, nose-to-the-grindstone death metal.

The nine bludgeoning songs of "Spreading The Message" are interspersed with various intros and outros and gives "Spreading The Message" a near cinematic feel which I find quite odd yet refreshing, for a death metal album. Highlights include "Majestic Suffering" and "Slavemind."  Slowing down the pace for a breather on "Presentiment Of The Souls" gives Pandemia a much needed diversion - the thrashy riffs of this song work well against the band's otherwise relentless attack.

Fans of traditional, old-school death metal will get a kick out of Pandemia.

Pandemia have shared the stage with Death, Vader, Krabathor, Kreator, and Six Feet Under and have played throughout Europe. Can a U.S. tour be far behind?

"Spreading The Message" was produced by Pandemia and engineered by Jaroslav Brouzda. The production is crisp and the sound is very clear. 

Pandemia is Michael on vocals, Alex on guitars, Jarda on bass, and Tom on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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