Kostas from Pantheist AOTY List 2021

Kostas is from the veteran UK funeral doom project Pantheist who has been making very good music since the early 00s. You can listen to Pantheist who recently released a new album, here.

I always found it difficult to rank music, as I consider musical genres as huge mosaics of which the individual albums are but small pieces (some bigger than others!) Having said that, here are the albums than enthralled me in this curious year 2021:

Dordeduh – Har

‘Om’ by Negura Bunget is a masterpiece and I don’t think their other albums are of the same calibre. Having said that, both Dordeduh albums come close to its majesty. Weird ethnic instrumentation, distinctive arrangements and labyrinthine tracks full of twists and turns make this a unique and special entity in today’s extreme metal world. ‘Har’ offers more accessible arrangements and better production than its predecessor, without compromising any of its mystique and power.

King Woman – Celestial Blues

One of my favourites this year. Very idiosyncratic, arty ‘post doom’ with unique vocals that are dominating. When I posted about this in my band’s Facebook group, someone offered the label ‘queer-grunge’ to describe the music. To this day I’m not sure whether they were joking, but somehow the label makes perfect sense with the singer’s ambivalent, androgyne image featured on the album’s cover and artwork.

Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion

Another highlight this year, a beautifully melodic ‘post black metal’ album with long, epic song structures. My friend Joe is not only a top notch composer and musician, but also a vocal opponent of any form of bigotry and discrimination, and this makes him stand out in a genre where artistic views often make me raise my eyebrows.

Aleks with a K – Alkaline

I’m a sucker for the video game ‘Quake’, an old-school shooter where you chase and kill weird monsters in obscure chambers and ancient castles. This is the electronic soundtrack of one of the latest ‘mods’ of the game and it always brings me in a good mood as I play this game virtually every single day for entertainment and relaxation between more ‘serious’ tasks.

Worm – Foreverglade

Seriously brutal old school doom death the way I like it. Recommended for fans of Evoken, disembowelment, Dusk, Ceremonium or Indesinence

Skepticism – Companion

An end-of-year list will always contain Skepticism whenever they release an album, period. A unique band with which we have toured twice, and I have seen live more than any other band (17 times in total). The new album contains some minor ‘surprises’ such as faster tempos here and there and a more ‘epic’ feel overall, but this is a band of which you pretty much know what to expect since their first demo back in the early nineties, and this is somehow reassuring.      

Necromantia – To the Depths We Descend

Worthy swan song of one of the best Hellenic black metal bands. I feel the lyrics of the track ‘And the Shadows Wept’ are particularly poignant with core member Baron Blood’s recent passing:

 Farewell my brother

 Farewell my friend

 Ride the Dragon In the center of the abyss

 Your soul is now free

Kennedy One – Metropolis

Hardcore old-school funeral doom fans will be very disappointed to hear that I’m much into quite a lot of electronic and techno music. Not that I care 😊 This album has a beautifully relaxing vibe, ideal as background when I’m at work or doing something that requires focus or concentration.

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