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Pan.Thy.Monium was a Swedish avant-garde/death metal band formed and led by Dan Swanö with several members from another project of his, Edge of Sanity.

The music is quite strange and complex, with structure and length of songs recalling those of progressive metal. Other features include unconventional saxophone and violin passes, cryptic song names, various noises and bizarre sounds.

The lyrics are supposed to tell about life and death of Raagoonshinnaah, a sort of "chaos god," but actually appear to be incomprehensible gibberish sung in harsh, death metal-style growling (which corresponds to the assumed nature of the songs' protagonist and also parodies to some extent the so-called "metal epics"), although some songs include clean or digitized vocals.

The group disbanded in 1996, after recording "Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion", which seemingly featured the death of their main hero.

Discography: ...Dawn (demo, 1990) Dream II (7" EP, Obscure Plasma Records 1991; re-released in 1995
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PAN.THY.MONIUM Discography

PAN.THY.MONIUM albums / top albums

PAN.THY.MONIUM Dawn of Dreams album cover 3.75 | 6 ratings
Dawn of Dreams
Progressive Metal 1992
PAN.THY.MONIUM Khaooohs album cover 3.63 | 7 ratings
Progressive Metal 1993
PAN.THY.MONIUM Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion album cover 4.02 | 9 ratings
Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion
Progressive Metal 1996


PAN.THY.MONIUM Dream II album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Dream II
Progressive Metal 1995

PAN.THY.MONIUM live albums

PAN.THY.MONIUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PAN.THY.MONIUM ...Dawn album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Progressive Metal 1990

PAN.THY.MONIUM re-issues & compilations

PAN.THY.MONIUM Dawn of Dream / Khaoohs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dawn of Dream / Khaoohs
Progressive Metal 2001
PAN.THY.MONIUM .....Dawn / Dream II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
.....Dawn / Dream II
Progressive Metal 2010

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PAN.THY.MONIUM Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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Hearing the first few moments of Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion can be pretty jarring for some listeners. A cavernous down-tuned doom metal riff is met with a guitar solo you’d normally hear in a 12-bar blues song at the local pub; it’s a weird combination and doesn’t seem like it should work, yet it does. And that’d might as well be the summary for Pan.Thy.Monium’s music: they play shit that shouldn’t work and somehow does. One of the easiest pitfalls avant-garde metal bands often fall victim to is putting way too much random stuff in their songs without accounting for the actual songwriting quality. Luckily, I can say with utmost confidence that Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion doesn’t fall into this trap. The first two tracks - which take up the majority of the record with their epic lengths - are incredibly adventurous while knowing when to break up the insanity to take a breather. For instance “The Battle of Geeheeb” periodically lets soaring guitar solos take center-stage, most of which are highly melodic and inspired by traditional 80s metal. Everytime the album threatens to fly off the handle, the band manage to find ways to keep the experience grounded.

Then again, I suppose this isn’t much of a surprise given the band’s leading songwriter, who happens to be legendary musician and producer Dan Swano. At this point, his name was already a seal of quality in the progressive death metal realm; in fact, his 40-minute one-song masterwork Crimson would be released the same year as Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion, merely a month apart. So it’s no wonder that the songwriting here is as focused as it is experimental. Getting back to the music, “Thee-Pherenth” is an even more dense and difficult affair than the opener; wailing saxophones, off-kilter guitar riffs, strange time signatures, dark ambient passages, and even some hints of black metal are all found in this tune. There’s even a really catchy funk metal riff midway into the song, which reminds me a lot of that groovy riff found in Gorguts’ “Nostalgia”. But again, keeping in line with what I stated earlier, this off-the-wall moment is still met with a melodic guitar solo that slows things down and balances out the craziness. There are also some strange synthesizers that sound like a mix of Sadist’s Tribe album and classic Playstation music. The beauty of music like this is that - especially when you’re listening to it for the first time - the unpredictability of such experimental metal makes the experience genuinely exciting.

Finally, we get to those other two songs. However, “In Remembrance” isn’t really a song; in fact, it’s just one minute of silence. Perhaps it’s meant as an audio representation of a real-life “moment of silence”, although I do wish there was an actual outro. Meanwhile, “Behrial” might just be the most surprising thing on the record. Instead of another intense prog-death number, we’re greeted with calming, angelic keyboards; the weirdest thing about this track is that there’s nothing eerie or creepy going on in the background. The entire song is just… beautiful. It’s repetitive, but it puts you in a state of peace and relaxation with its otherworldly sense of atmosphere. It’s a perfect wind-down track after two very intense and complex epics, and it ends Khaooos and Kon-Fus-Ion on a wonderful note. Simply put, this band is a bit of an anomaly. I’m not sure what bands I’d even lump this music in with, and that’s what makes Pan.Thy.Monium so special; they were a singular, idiosyncratic group that allowed Dan Swano to get as creative and experimental as he could. If you enjoy avant-garde metal and are looking for something that's truly original and compelling in its many oddities, you can’t go wrong here.

PAN.THY.MONIUM Khaooohs & Kon-Fus-Ion

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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PAN.THY.MONIUM, the side project of Swedish extreme metal veteran Dan Swanö cranked out the debut EP and first two albums out fairly quickly in the early 90s but as Edge Of Sanity became more popular in the blossoming extreme metal underground, Swanö focused most of energy in that direction as well as divvying up his energies into other bands like Godsend, Nightingale, Maceration, Overflash, Subway Mirror and even a neo-prog project called Unicorn. The man was obsessed and Sweden’s answer to Mike Patton’s restless pursuit of the next project. Despite his full plate, he found time in his busy schedule to release the last chapter of the PAN.THY.MONIUM trilogy which ended in 1996 with KHAOOOHS AND KON-FUS-ION.

For this last installment in the PAN.THY.MONIUM multiverse, the band (same lineup on all four releases: Robert Karlsson “Derelict” (vocals), Dag Swanö "Aag" (lead guitars, soprano saxophone, “noises,”) Robert Ivarsson "Mourning" (rhythm guitars), Dan Swanö "Day Disyraah" (basses, keyboards), Benny Larsson "Winter" (drums, cymbals, percussion)) continues their unique avant-garde take on the possibilities of marrying progressive rock with death doom metal and implement both aspects of the earlier albums into their grande finale. While the debut “Dawn Of Dreams” focused more on the progressive touches in a death doom context, the sophomore followup “Khaooohs” experimented more with textures, tones, timbres and sound effects.

KHAOOOHS AND KON-FUS-ION only contains four tracks however the closing “In Rememberence” is nothing more than one minute of silence whereas the penultimate “Behrial” eschews the metal paradigm altogether and creates a swirling synthesized symphony of some sort of darkwave chamber rock that lasts nearly seven minutes which leaves only two tracks of recognizable music that represent the true frenetic and fertile ground of the PAN.THY.MONIUM sound established on the previous recordings which continue the process of taking the listener to an entirely bizarre parallel universe where none of the established rules apply. Although there are only two “real” tracks, they are both quite lengthy and clock in at over 30 minutes.

“The Battle Of Geeheeb” begins with doom metal riffing and bluesy guitar licks before the chugging and death growls regurgitate from the underworld with the eerie atmosphere oozing out and the percussive drive outlining the main frame of the musical drive. The track displays not only the rotisserie of stylistic changes with electronic effects and psychedelic segments but also deliveries plenty of progressively infused angularities with time signature rich freneticism between the chugging riffs and just plain weird moments when everything stops and a lone saxophone squawks up a storm. The whole thing does evoke a battle where the guttural death growls are directing and orchestrating the army of sound to attack some unknown enemy.

“Thee-Pherenth” becomes even more unstable with doom riffs, down-tuned acoustic guitar arpeggios and a more dirge-like snail paced tempo but doesn’t waste much time jumping into jazzy metal territory with a bizarre dance of time signature rich jitteriness that grows in intensity. The KHAOOOS part of the equation is balanced out by melodic guitar licks and subtle keyboard backdrops to keep some sort of anchoring process to the unhinged metallic fury. KON-FUS-ION lurks around every corner as the heavy metal bombast can switch to a segment of weird sound effects or psychedelic meanderings but bounces back with bluesy metal shuffles. While a “constant menu of variations” is the de facto motto of PAN.THY.MONIUM, this track seems to dish out more than the usual portions and all the better for it.

While Swanö saved his best avant-garde beasts for last, the problem with this album is that it only contains two lengthy gems and two tracks that are really unnecessary. For greater effect, the synthesizer rich “Behrial” which is more or less a mood enhancer should have been inserted between the two real stars of the show and then shortened by about half. The last track which is a minute of silence should’ve just been removed or some sort of weird frenetic finale that went out in a bang. Of course, the band could not predict the illogical nature of this once translated into the modern era of ripping CDs onto hard drives but still, it seems like a wasted opportunity. Unfortunately only two of the tracks are of masterpiece status and the other two are filler. A great conclusion to one of extreme metal’s most interesting bands but a bad ending for what started out as one of the band’s best albums. Still worth the price of admission for the first two tracks.


Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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Dan Swanö’s side project PAN.THY.MONIUM may have started out as a way to unleash his avant-garde tendencies that wouldn’t jive well in Edge Of Sanity but the whole thing wasn’t really meant to be something that had a long shelf life and despite the band only releasing one EP and three albums in the 90s, the band sure knew how to let each album speak for itself and create a completely new sound on each. All three albums (and EP) had the same lineup which allowed the band to mature as a cohesive unit and mature they did as the second album KHAOOOHS takes things several notches higher than the debut “Dawn Of Dreams,” well, at least in terms of weirdness.

The band continued to use aliases despite having revealed their identity, but let’s face it. Äag aka Tom Nouga is a lot freakier than Dan Swanö (bass, keyboards, effects), Day DiSyraah the same for Dag Swanö (Dan’s elder bro, lead guitarist, organist and baritone saxophone player), Mourning for Robert Ivarsson (rhythm guitarist), Winter for Benny Larsson (drummer and violinist) and Derelict for Robert Karlsson (vocals). The gang is back for round number two and takes things to a new level and succeeds in keeping the staples of their overall sound intact without repeating what came before.

First of all, there is no 21 minute behemoth track that swallows up half the album. Instead there are 11 tracks that range from 50 seconds to over 8 minutes, however the intro “I Manes Seen Dog En Skugga,” I Vindens Vald,” “Ekkoeece” and “Khaooohs II” are merely sound effect collages to augment the weirdness factor without much musical value. The rest of the album is very much in the death metal camp but pretty much refrains from the dirge-like doominess of “Dawn Of Dreams.” The riffs exist in a much more quickened tempo with only a few slow downs into doom territory, however the compositions are a lot more avant-garde and hop, skip and jump all over the place.

What’s the same: death doom riffing with the same grungy tones and stompitude although the tempos are more adrenalized this time around. The death growls are ubiquitous and still quite unintelligible. The bass slinks and slithers all around but generally follows the melodic drive. The keyboard provide the adequate atmospheric touches to keep things murky and drenched in melancholy. What’s different: the composiitons are all over the place. There is less emphasis on making this scary and more focus on just making everything fun. There are bluesy rock shuffles in death metal tones, more electronic effects and overall instrumental tradeoffs that sound more like electronica than metal. Dan Swanö clearly had been sampling many styles of music to create this. Even some of the guitar solos are more like bluegrass than metal. The Mr. Bungle of death metal?

The band had moved far from typical old school death metal of the day. This album is more like a collection of bizarre amalgamations of musical genres that only uses death metal as the external packaging. The compositions themselves are quite avant-garde and have no connection to bands like Morbid Angel for example. While the music is much more experimental, there are also some things i don’t like about this album. Firstly, the guitars tend to repeat the same chugga chug more often than not and the drumming is a bit lazy as there are no blastbeats. In that way, it’s more like a sludge metal release but the vocal guttural growls are clearly deathened to the max. So, KHAOOOHS is an incredibly unique and creative album although it isn’t what i would call perfect.

While i love most of what is on display, there are still a few factors that i always wish they would do differently but in the end this sophomore release is an excellent followup to the already experimental debut “Dawn Of Dreams.” KHAOOOHS emphasizes melody above all else and the ear worm hooks are quite strong on this on although the band try to obfuscate them under the bantering din and extreme avant-garde freakery, however the bluesy guitar solos and melodic hooks are the underpinning to the whole shebang even as the weird off-kilter shenanigans proceed without restraint. It seems to me that this album eschews the progressive time signature freak outs in exchange for bizarre dynamics shifting into strange new concoctions however in the end this album is much weirder with jazzy touches interpolated in the nooks and crannies as well as post-punk industrial sensibilities lurking in every corner. Brilliant i do say.

PAN.THY.MONIUM Dawn of Dreams

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
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PAN.THY.MONIUM - Dawn Of Dreams 1991 4 stars

PAN.THY.MONIUM was one of the earliest projects of Dan Swanö, who has become one of Sweden’s most prolific veterans of extreme metal and this band served as a side project apart from his regular death metal gig in Edge Of Sanity with PAN.THY.MONIUM allowing a more experimental and avant-garde approach by taking death doom metal into more progressive arenas. The band started out anonymously with Dan’s older brother Dag Swanö along with drummer Benny Larsson from Edge Of Sanity with Robert Ivarsson (rhythm guitars) and vocalist Robert Karlsson completing the lineup. The band members all had pseudonyms and remained mysterious with untitled tracks that began on the 1990 demo “Dawn” and the debut EP “Dream II.” With the release of the first full-length album DAWN OF DREAMS in 1992, the band had finally revealed their identities but still opted for untitled tracks however they all have since been renamed on later reissues.

While Edge Of Sanity was just joining the early old school death metal club, PAN.THY.MONIUM was an altogether different beast despite being grounded in the same death metal scene at its core. This band cranked out heavy doom inspired death riffs with unintelligible guttural growls but also had a murky atmospheric dread that sculpted the bombast into something even more menacing and with the addition of the supplemental sounds a saxophone and violin, the project took extreme metal into completely unexplored realms. The compositions took great liberty in expanding the death metal paradigm as well with Dag Swanö’s lead guitar antics taking many shapes including traditional bluesy shuffles, thrash metal palm muting punchiness and just plain weird experimental touches. Since the song titles were non-existent and lyrics indecipherable, the album relied on atmospheric interpretations and the vocals used were just another instrument.

The opening track which takes up nearly half the album is a monstrous progressive behemoth. It begins with a ticking of a clock and a saxophone sequence which makes you think this is a John Zorn album or some other avant-garde jazz artist but once the doom metal riffs start chugging away and the death growls howl into the night, it’s time for good old fashioned Swedish death doom metal. The track starts off sounding like generic old school death metal but the frenzy of progressive time signature outbursts soon find more confidence to express themselves and the track begins to meander all over the place. The heavy metal bombast is pacified by the atmospheric keyboards which sometimes sound a little cheesy but are quite effective in elevating the overall mood setting into a bizarre hybrid of space rock and extreme metal. Touches of jazz are inserted when least expected and despite the dominance of the metal aspects finds ways to shift the focus including eerie psychedelic spoken word segments. Sounds like Swedish so i guess there are some meaningful narrations.

After the near 22 minute opener, the following six tracks may be shorter with the longest just shy of the six minute mark but in aggregate pull off the same varying instrumental gymnastics as the first track with the heavy metal guitar riffing alternating between dirge-like doom and the more upbeat death metal freneticism. In some cases there is more attention given to catchy melodic keyboard rolls that are implemented in an extremely spooky and alienating manner. While the remaining tracks pretty much finds new variations on the similar themes, the last one is perhaps the weirdest and most daring as it implements all the different sounds the album had to offer in concentrate. It begins with a heavy percussive stomp and almost whispered death growls but really pulls out the avant-garde punches with a series of sax squawks, post-punk bass attacks and sound effects taken to the max.

PAN.THY.MONIUM was and remains one of the most unique sounding extreme metal bands even within the prolific lengthy list of projects that Dan Swanö has involved himself in throughout the last few decades. This band not only expanded the boundaries of the nascent paradigm that was gestating into both the death and doom metal worlds of the old school era but also borrowed liberally from 70s progressive rock as well as the most experimental edges of post-punk and electronica. Add the John Zorn sax squawks and you have the perfect recipe for something completely out of the box. The band put out three full-length albums which incrementally ratcheted up the progressive and experimental features laid down on DAWN OF DREAMS. While the band’s signature sound reached its apex on 1996’s “Khaooos And Kon-Fus-Ion,” the startling hybridization of sounds had already gestated into its full Frankenstein form on this debut. This is a highly entertaining and satisfying slice of adventurous experimental metal not to be missed by those who crave such things.

Renamed titles:

Untitled 1 = Raagoonshinnaah (21:49)

Untitled 2 = Eepitaffph (5:51)

Untitled 3 = Sieegeh (4:03)

Untitled 4 = IV (3:06)

Untitled 5 = Zenotaffph (2:42)

Untitled 6 = Amaaraah (4:26)

Untitled 7 = Ekkoecce (3:00)


EP · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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DREAM II is a short EP and the first official release of PAN.THY.MONIUM led by Dan Swanö better known for his involvement in Edge Of Sanity. This short EP of four track debuts much of the stylistic approach that the band would further develop on the three full-length albums that followed.

The band was formed by Dan Swanö (aka Day DiSyraah on bass, keyboards, effects) and his brother Dag Swanö (aka Äag aka Tom Nouga on lead guitar, organ and baritone sax) along with Edge Of Sanity member Benny Larsson (aka Winter on drums) and lead vocalist Robert Karlsson aka Derelict and Robert Ivarsson aka Mourning on rhythm guitar.

The band already showed promise on the demo “…Dawn” and really start to evolve their progressively tinged death doom metal sound on DREAM II. Many of the riffs and ideas on this EP were recycled and appear liberally on the debut album DAWN OF DREAMS which is obvious by the ticking clock effect that begins both this EP and the first album

DREAM II displays the signature sound that would carry the band all throughout their brief 90s existence. PAN.THY.MONIUM was totally an anonymous band at this point and no one had any idea that Dan Swanö was the mastermind behind the project when this came out. All four tracks are also untitled which made this band a bizarre mysterious addition to the expanding extreme metal world of the early 90s.

Graced by heavily distorted death doom metal riffs and indecipherable gutturally growled vocals, the tempos are faster than the dirge-like contemporaries and also implements spooky spectral atmospheres through the stellar work of the keyboards. While the death doom aspects are dominant, there are also thrashy chugging riffage as well as progressive outbursts of time signature rich angularities.

It’s not too difficult to understand how albums like “Crimson” evolved as Edge Of Sanity’s magnum opus when listening to PAN.THY.MONIUM. Even at this early stage a young Swanö was already heavily influenced by not only the most extreme aspects of the metal universe but equally at home with the progressive rock influences of the 70s.

This album displays all the metal madness accompanied by the avant-garde extras which include call and response monster vocalizations, ethereal electronic intermissions, various guitar riffing styles, keyboard attacks more at home on an Emerson, Lake and Palmer album and outstanding compositional fortitude. This band was light years ahead of the pack in terms of complexity. Whereas most doom based metal plodded along, PAN.THY.MONIUM was very much about variations. A spectacular and brilliant first offering.

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