Pantommind - Shade Of Fate

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Lucretia Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:03:00

Although you may not suspect this, but reviewing CDs is not always as nice as you would think. Now, it is not that I only have a pile of nice and original CDs, as far as one can speak of piles. No, honestly said, the majority is of such a quality, that after having listened to them for the review, they enter a closet, where they most likely never will come out again. But sometimes you get an album in your mailbox that makes you realize what you are doing it for.

Some time ago I received the album Shade Of Fate by the band Pantommind in my hands. Nice artwork, so I thought, let's play this one. And then it hit me ? because this was freakin' good music! So immediately I turned to the bio to see who was playing this great music. Pantommind turns out to be a Bulgarian band, and you don't meet those every day. And Shade Of Fate is their second work. It appears the band has been active for the past ten years, but since in their homeland there is no big market, they were very limited. Their debut album, Farewell, from 1999, was released by the band themselves. But now they have a deal with the Italian based Lucretia Records, and now we finally too can enjoy the qualities of this great band. Shade Of Fate is a prog metal album, as a prog metal album is supposed to be! Right away with the opening and title song "Shade Of Fate," you realize this is a top class band. This song opens with fantastic keys and nice, crunchy guitars. And on the moment Ivan opens his mouth, you now it for sure: an amazing singer, powerful and passionate. The entire band sounds tight and close and fortunately they manage to stay away from the usual clich?s, causing the album to sound fresh and original.

Now there will always be those who compare every prog metal band to Dream Theater or Queensr?che and shout they are clones or wannabees. To those people I'd like to say: stop whining and enjoy good music. Pantommind is absolutely no clone of whatever band. Of course, there will always be a hint of Dream Theater or whatever in the music. But Shade Of Fate stands on its own legs and the gents seem to be doing that pretty well.

The music is driven and the fun simply radiates off of the music. I am very impressed by Tony Ivan, definitely one of the better vocalists that I have heard in the last few years. I already mentioned the fantastic keyboard sound, in the first place the work of Sunny X. His talent especially is evident in the song "Closer To You," which starts with soft piano, and them flows over into solid prog metal, where the emphasis goes to the familiar synth sounds. Although this is a strong song, I would not call this my favourite song. Even more, I don't have a favourite song at all on this album ? for the simple fact the entire album is of such a quality, that I consider the entire album to be my favourite!

One song that does stand out a bit is the short "Trace To Find," which is almost acoustic. Here guitarists Pete Christ and Peter Vichew show they can play both mellow and soft as well as heavy and rough. Their guitar sound stands like a rock, with stunning solos and crunchy riffs. This is supported by the sublime bass play by Dido and the drums by Drago, gives the sound a full body.

We can talk about it for hours, but that is no use. Shade Of Fate is an album that you simply must hear and then you will experience the quality of this band. The album gives me, even after several spins, still the same sensation Ripples in Time by Chromeshift gave me: Goosebumps!

So, what are you waiting for? Make sure you get this album, as from now on, the Bulgarian prog metal scene is on the map and won't be ignored anymore. Because Shade Of Fate by Pantommind can proudly placed between your albums by Dream Theater, Queensr?che or Fates Warning. Even more, that is the only place where it belongs.

Shade Of Fate / Follow Me / Closer To You / Trace To Find / Spectastral / The Final Line / Why / Mindtrip / Knocking On My Door / After Rain / Orpheus Whisper

Pete Christ - guitars, keyboards
Drago - drums, percussion
Tony Ivan - vocals
Sunny X - keyboards
Dido - bass
Peter Vichew ? guitars

Farewell (demo) (1999)
Shade Of Fate (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin BG

Added: May 16th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1015
Language: english


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