This year two Polish Extreme Metal legends released their new albums. However, everything changes and Polish Death Metal scene too (though some people blame it for stagnation). Some young bands appeared; on one hand they take these legends’ legacy very seriously but on the other hand young bands have all the chances to sideline legends on their pedestal. Pandrador with their debut album Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny are one of those ambitious newcomers.
Pandrador was founded in 2015 by bassist Marcin “Jartz” Jagieła. From the very beginning, North mythology universalism was the main idea; Marcin wanted to share and promote Scandinavian values implicated on Icelandic sagas and chronicles with the band. A year later guitarist Bartłomiej “Bard” Bardon joined Pandrador – he became the main songwriter and the band’s mastermind. That time musicians changed their musical direction and started to play Technical Brutal Death Metal, keeping the Scandinavian pillar. In 2017 the first demo Śmierć Baldura (“The Death Of Baldur”) was released and Pandrador went to their first tour in Poland; that time vocalist Mateusz Bednarz joined the band too. Their tour ended in the city Częstochowa, when police interrupted the show. After that Pandrador started to work on their first album and in 2019 drummer Adrian Stempak completes the band’s line-up.
The songs’ titles can give an impression that lyrically this album goes to Viking Metal, but it’s not. “Although Norse mythology may be associated with heroism, glory of battles and pride of the warrior, it’s vain to find it in Pandrador’s texts” says the band in press release despite there is a strong connection to Scandinavian culture heritage in the album. Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny tells a tragic story of men’s self-sacrifice: an ancient covenant, which was given to Gods, will turn warriors to Einherjars and they will fall inevitably with the Gods when the day of Ragnarok will come. Nine songs of the album constitute three parts of this story: “Ov Rituals” reveals a spiritual aspect, “Ov Ancestors” is about human side and the ending “Ov Destiny” dedicated to the of the fall of the two pillars of civilization: “humanous” and “divine”.
Musically Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny is 37 minutes of crushing and uncompromising “True Polish Death Metal”. Brutality and technicality are two main features of eight songs and short atmospheric intro “The Oath”. These features are literally everywhere: in incredibly fast and solid drums, crushing riffs, bass or thud roaring vocals, which comes from the gut of Mateusz. At the same time there is a place for Symhonic elements (“Pandradr”), Black Metal (“Valgrind”) and almost inconspicuous melody. It’s not a big amount of such elements but they make this album diverse and bring some somber atmosphere.
Well, what can I add more? Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny is elaborate and very coherent album with an interesting concept. It holds steady within the genre but still manages to sound original and not boring at all. Pandrador made fantastic work and it shouldn’t stay unnoticed because this band has a huge potential!
Ov Rituals, Ov Ancestors, Ov Destiny was released on June, 19th.
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