Pantommind - Shade Of Fate
Sensory / Lucretia
Progressive Metal
13 songs (63:31)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Joe
Archive review

I can only tell you two things about Bulgaria:
1.It's a country in Eastern Europe
2.Pantommind come from there
An unlikely place to hear progressive metal I think you'll agree, but none the less these Bulgarians have delivered a progressive metal album that is strong in parts, slightly weaker in others, but altogether an original album that could easily stand proud in your CD collection alongside other prog heavyweights like Dream Theater and Pain Of Salavation among others. Not exactly a new band, Pantommind has existed for roughly 10 years and released a self financed, full demo album Farewell in 1999 before releasing their official debut album Shade Of Fate with small prog label Sensory.

What we have here is essentially by-the-book progressive metal (as much as progressive metal can be formulated), heavily keyboard laden, slower but heavy structured music with strong, high ranged vocals. Musicianship is of course immaculate, but nowadays to stand out of the crowd I would expect nothing less.
For some reason, Shade Of Fate didn't appeal to me the first few listens and I was rather disappointed. However, I prevailed and gave the Bulgarian prog outfit another few listens and then it hit me, this album isn't really trying to be in your face or a showcase of technical ability, although there are several moments when guitars are let loose and deliver some suprisingly good passages, the album is more of a chilled out prog album, certainly heavy in parts, but not the heavy, emotional songs like Dream Theater (I tried so hard not to compare them to Dream Theater) and not quite the crazy, all over the place mindset of Pain Of Salvation, but maybe somewhere in between in terms of progressive metal.

Vocalist Tony Ivan is a great find, displaying a very versatile singing range and never once does he sound like he is stuggling. This may sound obvious but vocalists are such a key figure in music these days, get the wrong choice and you'll find you'll get lost in the mix with such a competitive field, but get it right and people will take notice.
The opening track and title song Shade Of Fate and Closer To You, with it's beautiful piano intro are great highlights on the album, however the track Why shows Pantommind at their best I feel. A great guitar riff opens the song with plenty of great vocal and guitar passages and a fantastic chorus. Like Morgan Freeman in every movie, keyboards in Why and basically the whole album, are content to support and do their job well whilst only shining occasionally.
Too many interludes/outros mar it slighly and after Why, the foot is taken off the pedal slightly and loses some of the edge shown in the first half. I got the edition with two bonus tracks, which thank God are bonus tracks because they are evidently not worth appearing on the album.

I eagerly await their followup album to see how things have progressed (no pun intended). Definitely not for casual prog listeners, but certainly anyone with a taste for the progressive should without a doubt listen to Pantommind.

Killing Songs :
Shade Of Fate, Closer To You, Why
Joe quoted 75/100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:02 am
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