Pando, Rites (Aesthetic Death 2021)

Experimental metal duo Pando come back with another layered and complex experience for the initiated and the adventurous.

The band is Adam R. Bryant and Matthew Gagne. The music could be called experimental and/or drone and/or Black Metal and a lot of other things, too. The compositions include sounds, noises, dialogue, chants, guitars, clean vocals and craggy ones, percussion, captures, and expressions.

The set starts with what sounds like an LP of Gregorian Chants being played. A narrative track joins – a man speaking. This goes on for three full minutes, and then the savage voice breaks in and the mood turns from weird to sinister. This new reality goes on for a tight three, then new chanting begins, urgent against a tortured guitar and hopeless choir: “agapē” is the song. With that for an opener you figure anything could come next, all of it equally likely. What you actually get is difficult to put into an closing container.

The music has the feeling of ritual to it, and Rites is the therefore the perfect title for the album. You can get into a state listening to this, an altered state. The second piece is short, “dadaism,” and it will absolutely rattle your nerves with its piercing and pounding. Some tracks sound very much like a traditionally-formed songs, as in “total station theodolite,” which could live comfortably elsewhere. But others like “in god we trust with our cold dead hands” are something that could only really have a home on an album like this one.

Rites makes the most sense to me as an experience. I wouldn’t try to conceive of the separate tracks as individual entities even though many of them work well that way. Take it in all at once, altogether, and see what that does to you. Recommended.

The album is out tomorrow, Friday March 26th. Links below.





Pando, Rites (Aesthetic Death 2021)