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Wednesday 7 December 2022

A View From The Back Of The Room: Pantheïst, Edenfall & Pyrogaric (Live Review By Matt Bladen)

Pantheïst, Edenfall & Pyrogaric, Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff, 04.12.22

A Sunday night gig always has a mishmash of audiences, so it was good to see a reasonably healthy crowd as we hit Fuel Rock Club ready for a Sunday sermon of heavy music. Kicking off  the night were Pyrogaric (7) a proto metal duo from Newport. They feature just drums, vocals and heavy stringed guitar, which fills both the guitar/bass duties as they stomped through occult-tinged psych rock that had a strong late 60's vibe taken from Coven, Black Widow etc. They perhaps lost a little due to lack of bass but made up for it with groove they brought to the evening, preparing for what was ahead as one of the three eclectic acts this evening.  

Next in Fuel are Elven horror folk metal band Edenfall (7) who have a trio of vocalists and a cinematic sound, the growls meeting soprano and clean vocals for a sound that was perhaps a bit too big for Fuel. Highlighted by a couple of issues with feedback and the backing track meant that is didn't flow as well as could be expected but with a doomy style of folk/viking metal they entranced the audience into their gothic symphonic metal style. The overall approach being a bit bigger than the previous band, delving into thrash/black metal on The Wild Hunt. Edenfall's symphonic style was perhaps a bit too encompassing for Fuel, but on a bigger stage I can imagine they will show their full potential, ones to watch again for sure 

After three years without any activity, the South Wales based, atmospheric doom underground heroes Pantheïst (9), conduct their first sermon in Cardiff's Fuel. Having been a staple of the doom scene for twenty years, they have always been more popular in Europe than in their native country, this was their first outing with their new live line up and comes in support of their previous album 2021's Closer To God. With frontman/keyboardist Kostas Panagiotou taking centre stage, literally, it's his ecclesiastical stage outfit and hymnal keyboards/organs take the lead position in the band. 

The riffs of guitarist Atanas Kyurkchiev and bassist Matthew Strangis rang out with some long, slow, heavy, echoing doom, the drumming of Fanel Lefterache deftly shifting the pace in conjunction with the keys. Pantheïst's songs are long, like distance from Marathon to Athens long, they swell and break, the waves of distortion and synths/organs in a beautiful but eerie unison, this liturgy brought from the other side of heaven. 

Starting out with Control & Fire from Seeking Infinity this mammoth track led into The Loss Of Innocence as Wilderness and Be Here kept the audience in their grasp as they concluded with the 23 minute Strange Times, the first track from their most recent album Closer To God. It closed the evening well, those in attendance on a high from the first show in three years. Now they are back we'll hopefully be seeing a lot more from Pantheïst in the future, I for one will be down the front for more atmospheric doom metal wonderment. 

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