OK, the first album of Swedish/Norwegian conglomerate SAINT DEAMON (2008’s “In Shadows Lost From The Brave”) didn’t register with me whatsoever, so their second effort “Pandeamonium” is like a debut to me. Three of the four members are already known to me, Norwegian singer Jan Thore Grefstad (formerly with HIGHLAND GLORY), bassist Magnus Norberg (previously with NATION) and SINEGY/DIONYSUS drummer Ronny Milianowicz, so that is kind of foreboding that we won’t be treated to a half-baked affair and not only do SAINT DEAMON sound experienced, but they have some very, very good songs dangling in front of my ears that make me want more!
Produced by Roy Z and Jens Bogren, the production side is more than covered already, musically they serve a very tasty mix of Power and Melodic Metal, some Rock influences here and there, good atmosphere, great melodies and a truly inspired vocal performance by Grefstad. But don’t think that what we get here is slick, catchy and shallow, no, some of the melody lines don’t follow the same old harmonies, which catches your attention and keep things nicely fresh. And what the great thing is (and what also shows the talent and experience of these guys), is that they manage to keep a very high level throughout the 39 minutes of this album, covering the whole spectrum of their chosen style and maintain a very good balance between the incredible catchiness that will keep you hooked and enough depth to keep you coming back to it as well.
With that it is not easy to pick out certain tracks as highlights, because they are so numerous, for various reasons, but one element that is outstanding throughout is the vocals of Jan Thore Grefstad, who already had made me listen up on the last HIGHLAND GLORY album and definitely deserves a lot more attention and appreciation. Another one are the immensely catchy choruses that crown the songs and give them an aura of epic grandeur, prime examples for this are opener “Deception”, the excellent “Eyes Of The Devil”, which also sports some nicely heavy riffing and jaunty rhythm, slow and epic “A Day To Come”, “The Deamon Within”, “Oceans Of Glory” and “Fear In A Fragile Mind”, which of course also fully convince outside of the chorus, so don’t get me wrong, this album is not only geared towards the choruses!
“Pandeamonium” has turned out to be a wonderful album, harmonic, epic, but still with enough heaviness and depth to guarantee longevity. So if you like your Metal melodic, check out SAINT DEAMON’s second strike, because this is one highlight of 2009!
(Online August 21, 2009)