A fowl shriek in the northern cold darkness of Scandinavia only too happily backed by a fierce array of tremolo picking and blast beasts. Lord of Pagathorn is one of the Black Metal acts that always feels below the surface. Deep below the surface and in the dark depths of the more unearthed Black Metal – hiding in the corners of darkness. This Finnish band have certainly been enacting their evil music on us for a very mature amount of time – since 1992 to be exact. But like many bands of this age to keep beneath a darkened black spot they’ve not offered many albums in this time. Daimono Philia marks a second cry from hell in album form from the band and appears as a direct follow up to Nekros Philia – their first album. With claws dug in and a violent shriek in the wake at dusk, their second album is ready to descend upon our eardrums.
Vocal work heavy on the shrieks and cries side of Black Metal and with an atmospheric touch to the mastering, Lord of Pagathorn offer their music like a black mass. It’s to a taste but it’s that taste done so well – recalling a deep Burzum. Whilst the guitars and drums set the tone; a punishing, distorted and echoed tone supplemented by a heavy twang of the bass guitar. At times Lord of Pagathorn feel as if they could sit alongside bands like Gorgoroth, Watain or Carpathian Forest.
It is a brutal onslaught of violent atmospheric music and so you may blink and miss the more melodic side to the band that will take the songs from back ground to creeping into your mind. Songs like ‘Rise of the Celestial Scythe’ and ‘Spiritual Spiral Stairs’ actually sneak in some symphonic moments to achieve this, whilst ‘Evil to Destroy Evil’ and ‘The Spirit of Perversion’ use unexpected explorations in guitars to do so. What ensues is a good amount of variation as to a lazy listen their songs have a danger of bleeding into each other. Each song has a punishing energy that is either fast and violent or punishingly so. Thanks to this it can be easier to miss some of the finer moments of the bands potential.
Daimono Philia may be an effort that took the band 26 years to get to, even four years after its predecessor, but this wait gives far too much weight to a second album. The album shows a confidence and a maturation that gives an assured evil presence to their dark vibrations of air we call music. We may have to wait many more years for a follow up but if they can keep this consistent then they’re laughing – darkly and most evilly cackling in the depths of the dark.