pantokrator - a decade of thoughtsPANTOKRATOR
A Decade Of Thoughts
Momentum Scandinavia

In what I do, with collecting, listening to, and blogging my thoughts on so much \,,/METAL\,,/ that graces my earholes over the past couple of decades (plus some change), it comes to a point where a band has to be extra specially awesome to stick out. Pantokrator is one of those bands. Ever since picking p the In The Bleak Midwinter / Songs Of Solomon split with Sanctifica at Cornerstone 2002, they’ve managed to maintain a presence in my Frequently Played playlist since.

And like many other Death Metal bands imported from Europe, there was going to be releases that I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint and get leading up to what was available in the States, without paying an arm and a leg, or spelunking in the feted depths of rarities and opp trading and selling. Ebay was still in its early stages, after all. Fortunately, the next best thing to having all the demos and early EPs re-released on a boxed set collection, in 2007 Momentum Scandinavia released a compilation entitled A Decade Of Thoughts, featuring selections from the demos, EPs, and other work of the past ten years leading up to this.

On this particular compilation, there are cuts pulled from 1997’s Unclean Plants / Ancient Path demo (“Punish The Evil”, “Unclean Plants”), 1998’s Even Unto The Ends Of The Earth demo (“Via Dolorosa”), 2000’s Allhärskare EP (“Lamentation”), 2001’s Songs Of Solomon EP (“Come Let Us Flee”, “Separated By Night”), their 2003 full-length Blod (“Bundsfoervant”, “Gudablodets Kraft”, “Tidevarv”), the “Leviathan” single that was released earlier that year, plus four previously unreleased songs: “Nebuchadnezzar” (which would go on to be “The Madness Of Nebuchadnezzar” on the full-length Aurum release later that year), a cover of Vengeance Rising’s “Cut Into Pieces”, “White Robes” and “Psalm 29”. The production on all of the songs is very good, and the music is…well, it’s Pantokrator. Meaning it’s some very high-quality progressive death metal, even in their early stages.

Overall, A Decade Of Thoughts is a good compilation. I would have maybe preferred a few more selections from the albums that only had one cut represented on here, but for a chance to take a look at the earlier works of one of my favorite death metal bands, this was enough to slate my thirst.