Release DetailsLABEL Several Bleeds Records
RELEASED ON 2/7/2006
Shoemaker Levy 9
posted on 4/2006 By:
While I’m not too thrilled about their name, Shoemaker Levy 9 are another mob worth your time if you fancy those such as Ion Dissonance, Glass Casket, Spitfire, and others that use technicality and chaos to their advantage. Pantheon, a debut, doesn’t venture too far off the beaten path, utilizing stop/start technique, hyper tempo, and frantic instrumentation, but this quintet prove that France shouldn’t be known only for its black metal. Still, this group has a tough way to go if they want to usurp the current, well-known players of this particular style.
There’s nothing too out of the ordinary on Pantheon, and the introduction comes in the form of “Cerebral Disfunction” – fuck proper spelling – which fosters whirlwind-like intensity regardless of the tempo. Speeding up and slowing down as necessary, Shoemaker Levy 9 keep rabbit punching for as long as the 1:40 allows them. Of course it goes without saying that much of their arsenal is rapid-fire, with a seemingly endless supply of ammo to boot. “Beyond Frontiers of Asylum” tosses an Into the Moat jazz grenade into a Buried Inside foxhole, perhaps catching the latter off guard during one of their subdued moments. Their fellow classmen have established the notion of the succinct track, and since this disc isn’t a departure from the norm, most of the songs are less than three minutes in length. The ones that do catapult beyond the 3-minute mark, however, project the band’s songwriting skills more intently than the other numbers. Using the same tactics, the gem of “Compassion” is the unwound midsection where the assault isn’t jumbled in the least, and I love the riffs that frequent the composition as a whole. The repetition dripping off of “Claustrophobic Control” isn’t as annoying as it is endearing, and interestingly enough, said piece is stranger than its peers.
These Frenchmen have, in my opinion, shouldered their way past the copycats and are eyeing their future opponents. Though it can be said that Pantheon isn’t remarkably original, I found it to my liking. Shoemaker Levy 9 are a solid unit above all, and when I thought things were gonna get dull, they transported me to a new plateau. Even so, aside from the successes, it’s too early in their career for them to dethrone the kings of the subgenre. But I expect this up-and-coming troupe have a fighting chance, if anybody does.
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