Saint Deamon – Pandeamonium (Frontiers Records) 2009
1. Deception (3:54)
2. The Only One Sane (3:07)
3. Pandeamonium (4:03)
4. Eyes of the Devil (3:12)
5. A Day to Come (4:34)
6. Way Home (2:53)
7. Fallen Angel (4:03)
8. The Deamon Within (3:48)
9. Oceans of Glory (4:33)
10. Fear in a Fragile Mind (4:58)
11. Pandeamonium [Video] (4:05)
Sweden's Saint Deamon are generally labeled a power metal band, however, their music is so much more than that. Modern power metal usually denotes fast tempos, soaring vocals and fantasy lyrics (ie. Dragonforce, Rhapsody). While there is some of these qualities to Saint Deamon, the band also steers clear of being trapped by that label. Pandeamonium is much more progressive and melodic than the average European power metal band. Actually, on my first listen to this CD I thought Saint Deamon might be yet another in a long list of Dream Theater clones. The progressive elements in the bands music, together with the tasteful keyboards, immediately brought to mind early Dream Theater days gone by, when they had memorable song writing to go along with the technical playing. However, upon further listens, I began to discover the traditional metal influences, such as Dio and Pretty Maids, as well as similarities to such bands as Nocturnal Rites and Dream Evil. I even picked out some neo-classical influences. “Pandeamonium” quickly became one of the most listened to new CDs in my collection. After first putting it into my car stereo, I didn’t take it out for weeks, often listening to it several times in a week.
“Pandeamonium” features an array of tempos, emotions, and songwriting. There are some seriously heavy, uptempo tracks such as “The Only One Sane”, “Fallen Angel” and “Eyes of the Devil”. However, the band isn’t afraid to write mid-tempo and slower songs as well. While speed is great, the variety within the songwriting has always been a key to a great heavy metal album. A quick listen to nearly any classic Iron Maiden or Judas Priest album proves this point. Saint Deamon offer up a few mid-paced numbers like “Way Home” as well as a few more melancholy moments such as the emotional title track. Regardless of the tempo or mood of the song, each song features monstrous musical and lyrical hooks. The big, melodic, memorable choruses are a definite strong point on this album. Adding to the excellent songwriting is the superb performance of ex-Highland Glory singer Jan Thore Grefstad and the big production by Roy Z (Rob Rock, Halford, etc) and Jens Bogren. “Pandemonium” is a stupendous album. It has quickly become a favorite in my collection.