PANTOMMIND

Progressive Metal • Bulgaria
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Sometime in distant 1993, in a small town in the heart of Bulgaria, a few friends gather up to play their favorite music. These are Pete Christ, “Floyd” Rossen, Jiip Randam and Lambie. They call themselves “LAVENDER HAZE”, while their music protrudes influences of Queensryche and shows affinity towards different electronic motives and complex compositions.

Two years later, the band is finally completed with the joining of the emblematic vocalist Tony Ivan, and drummer Drago. 1995 marks the change of the band’s name to “PANTOMMIND”, as well as their first studio recording - the song called “Every Dream is a Game”. Another year passes in recording of new material, and in 1996 the demo EP “Unreality” becomes fact. It includes 4 songs: “Dream From”,”Unreality”,”Somewhere In The Space”,”Let Bygones By Bygones”. In the period 1997 – 1999, PANTOMMIND’s members Tony Ivan (vocals), “Floyd” Rossen
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PANTOMMIND albums / top albums

PANTOMMIND Shade Of Fate album cover 3.88 | 8 ratings
Shade Of Fate
Progressive Metal 2005
PANTOMMIND Lunasense album cover 3.82 | 6 ratings
Lunasense
Progressive Metal 2009
PANTOMMIND Searchung For Eternity album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Searchung For Eternity
Progressive Metal 2015

PANTOMMIND EPs & splits

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PANTOMMIND demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PANTOMMIND Unreality album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreality
Progressive Metal 1996
PANTOMMIND Farewell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Farewell
Progressive Metal 2000
PANTOMMIND Shade Of Fate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shade Of Fate
Progressive Metal 2004

PANTOMMIND re-issues & compilations

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PANTOMMIND movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

PANTOMMIND Reviews

PANTOMMIND Shade Of Fate

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
PANTOMMIND, formerly known as Lavender Haze is a Bulgarian progressive metal band from Gabrovo that made some waves in the mid-2000s when they released a couple albums and played with popular bands like Fates Warning and Helloween. The band was formed all the way back in 1993 but didn’t release this debut album SHADE OF FATE until 2005, however they did release a demo titled “Farewell” in 1999 in their native Bulgaria. SHADE OF FATE however was released on Sensory Records, one of the world’s excellent prog labels and launched this band to a much larger international audience. The band was also well known at the ProgPower Festival that took place in Baarlo, Netherlands and garnered a minor following after a couple of strong albums that were released separately and then again as a combo package.

While gestated in the far Eastern section of Europe, PANTOMMIND was obviously gazing westward for its inspiration and having formed in 1993, it’s obvious that Dream Theater and Fates Warning were clearly at the top of the list. Upon first listen, SHADE OF FATE may sound like any other Dream Theater clone band trying to check off the progressive metal attributes in perfect form and to be fair, there is much in common such as the Tony Ivans’ distinct operatic vocals that fly into perfect form and sail high into the heavens above and back. Also on board are the twin guitar attacks of Pete Christ and Peter Vichew who simultaneously offer chunky staccato riff attacks with atmospheric almost neo-prog wizardry with the occasional virtuosic soloing skills of a gifted neoclassical stalwart.

Perhaps the most distinct factor is the keyboard work of Sunny X who paints a more ethereal picture by adopting the styles of bands like Vanden Plas and Sun Caged. The band displays an excellent command of the progressive metal compositional style which nurtures highly addictive melodic drives into meticulously designed progressive constructs that showcase the more intricate influences of bands like Savatage, Crimson Glory and Psychotic Waltz. While not as musically adventurous as bands like Dream Theater, PANTOMMIND rather prefers to keep things well balanced without any long periods of virtuosic wankery. Strewn about the harmonic and melody rich soundscapes are crunchy guitar riffs, rich tapestries of time signature workouts, keyboard rich tone clusters and the chugging polyrhythmic bass grooves of Dido with the power drumming prowess of Drago to match.

Upon first listen i was expecting a much heavier sound similar to bands like Symphony X or even early Queensryche since there is much mellowness interspersed between the heaviest metal displays of bombast. After a few spins though, i was hooked. What PANTOMMIND lacks in overt originality they more than make up for with extremely strong and consistent compositions that take the best aspects of the progressive metal sound and dress them all up with excellent instrumental interplay accompanied by an outstanding production and mixing job that allows the instruments to complement each other to perfection. Add to that the perfect progressive metal vocal performances of Tony Ivan and it’s no wonder why PANTOMMIND captured the hearts of so many upon the release of this debut, no doubt because this is a brilliant interpretation of Western prog metal in the most passionate display of bravado.

Not sure why my CD has two extra tracks titled “Forgiving Tears” and “Virtual Ghost” which don’t appear on most databases but these bonus features are actually more creative and more dynamic than the 11 tracks that precede it so i highly recommend obtaining SHADE OF FATE as a single album with these extra gems rather than obtaining the combo pack of SHADE OF FATE and the following “Lunasense.” Despite nothing really jumping into any sort of experimental originality here, SHADE OF FATE is impeccable in how each track seamlessly flows into the next and balances the heavier and softer passages so well. Perhaps Bulgaria isn’t the world’s foremost bastion of progressively infused rock and metal but they sure did good by exporting PANTOMMIND to the rest of the world.

PANTOMMIND Lunasense

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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kluseba
After the stunning first full length record "Shade Of Fate", the Bulgarian progressive metal band Pantommind didn't only try to copy its first album but tried out a couple of new things on this second album. While this progression seems very positive at first sight, there are still a few little reasons why I prefer their first output.

"Lunasense" sounds heavier and straighter than the first album. It includes more unpredictable and unexpected changes of style, some fast and sharp guitar solos and the band sounds even more versatile and open-minded than on the first output. The vocals have also changed and remind me less of Dream Theater or Fates Warning but rather of a mixture of X Japan and Symphony X. This new ambitious diversity has though a little negative effect. Sometimes, the vocals sound too forced and not as natural and emotional as they could. Sometimes the heaviness of the music and the new degree of diversity suffocate the magic melodies and profound atmosphere that dominated the first album and that are still but logically less present in some parts of this follow-up. Sometimes the different new and old influences of the band harm the coherence and flow of the record that sounds a little bit more twisted and complicated than the one before. "Lunasense" is without a doubt an intriguing and diversified record and I honour the courage of the band to move on but I personally prefer the laid back sounds of "Shade Of Fate" where the band excelled. Sometimes less can be more in the progressive rock or metal genre.

But there are though many positive things that justify my high rating. This album may seem bulky at a first try but it opens the more and more you listen to it. You always get something new to discover and have new favourite tracks depending on your mood and taste of the moment. A good example for this kind of phenomenon and a track that represents well the new face of the band is the song "Blank". It starts with a slow and very catchy riff to turn into a heavier riff that picks up the main melody. The verses sound like epic power metal while the bridge has many breaks and focuses on a dark atmosphere featuring a discordant guitar solo with some Arabian folk vibes. The song fades though out with some eerie futuristic keyboard vibes. Already the opener "Erasable Tears" is after one out of two great short instrumental songs a track that defines the new directions of the band. It features some really sharp riffs, energizing, versatile but maybe a little bit too high pitched vocals, weird sound effects and a healthy dose of speed that hasn't be present on the band's first strike. This track is maybe the hardest and most complex track the band has ever written.

While these tracks are enjoyable but less directly addicting, there are still songs like the calm, epic and very atmospheric "Sandglass" with its oriental vibes or the keyboard orientated early Dream Theater homage "Letter To No One". These tracks might on the other hand please very much to fans of the first record and prove that the band's changes have not been too radical and permanent. The progression is perpetual, easy to digest and logical after all. Even if they add nothing new to the formula with these songs, they happen to be my favourite ones on the album because they have so much soul and such a warm vibe that a fan of progressive music simply can't criticize these lost pearls.

In the end, the band equally and almost perfectly mixes the sound of its first record with new influences. I prefer the vibes of "Shade Of Fate" but I'm also able to enjoy the new face of the band, too. Some tracks like "Wolf" or "To The Days Of Old" also mix both sides and help to create the transition between both sides of the band's musical medal. The new one is definitely technically interesting, musically diversified and adds a surprising and changing touch to the record. This new style needs some time to grow without a doubt but the songs in fact improved as time went by and I happen to discover more and more shiny facets and interesting elements in the band's sound even if the tracks are only slightly more complex than the material they have written before. That's why this record is also quite close to perfection and in the end a surprisingly worthy follow-up of the maybe unbeatable masterpiece that has been "Shade Of Fate". I only cut off five little points because this record that we have here is less easy to approach and doesn't have a perfect flow as the first strike but there are still no real stinkers on this output so you should definitely check this band and its music out if you haven't done so yet. I wish these guys would be more recognized for the great work they have done over the years in hard conditions and in an exotic country.

PANTOMMIND Shade Of Fate

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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kluseba
Patommind are a very calm, chilling and talented progressive rock or metal band from Bulgaria and I stumbled over their two albums by pure coincidence. The band sounds a little bit like early Dream Theater and also reminds a little bit of Yes or Pendragon. The band focuses on the melodies and instruments and sometimes the songs could have made it on a movie score without the glimpse of a doubt. The mood of the record is a dreamy melancholy but everything sounds so light and positive that this record will still put a smile on your face.

The sound is dominated by very warm keyboard sounds that create a magic atmosphere in connection with the melodic and soft vocals, the beautiful guitar harmonies, a smooth but present bass guitar and a laid back drumming. Shade Of Fate is the perfect soundtrack to escape from reality, dream and fall asleep in peace. This is a refreshing alternative to all those technically perfect but emotionally dumb fast paced progressive metal bands. As highlights, I might point out the two epic tracks "The Final Line" that could have been on Dream Theater's legendary Images And Words as well as the catchy and "Why" that has a very atmospheric space middle part reminding me of Ayreon and a completely crazy metal guitar solo. The Bulgarian band even beats its own idols as every song on this record is interesting and follows a clear structure and musical mood. This is the kind of record you have to listen to as a whole and where it's hard to pick out any songs.

In the end, metal maniacs may have some problems to approach this calm and atmospheric record but they should invest some time and patience as this album is definitely a grower. Fans of Dream Theater don't have the choice to hail this record. Progressive rock fans may even like this release more and should be satisfied that this kind of magic music still exists nowadays. This record is definitely one of my luckiest choices in the last months and has gained a very special place in my collection. I'm deeply impressed by this profound record and even if it presents nothing really new after all it is simply perfectly executed and touches my soul like almost no other album. This was love at first sight for me and proves me that there are still many outstanding bands to be discovered in the world of rock and metal music after so many years.

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