Formed in 1989, Pandemonium emerged from the same burgeoning Polish metal scene that spawned the likes of such greats as Kat, Vader, Imperator, Christ Agony, and Taranis. However, the sound that Pandemonium adopted was unlike that of any active bands at the time in their home country. Instead, it bore a much greater resemblance to a few core Western European acts. Most notable among these perceptible influences were their Swiss contemporaries, Samael, and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Obituary, Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. The relatively strong following that the band was able to attract even in the early days was in large part due to the fact that their sound was so unique at that time in Poland.
Although their self-titled rehearsal/demo is considered the band's first recording, Pandemonium's first official release, Devilri, was recorded in the winter of 1992 and was soon thereafter released on cassette by Carnage Records, a Polish label who had most famously been responsible for the release of Vader's Morbid Reich demo in 1990. Since its initial release, Devilri has been reissued a handful of times by a few different Polish labels but to this point has not received the full recognition it deserves. Nuclear War Now! is proud to once again make this underappreciated document of Polish Satanic Death Metal available for only the second time on LP format.
This second demo, but the first to be recorded in a professional studio, contains re-recorded versions of the three original songs from the first demo, in addition to four newer tracks. As those familiar with the first demo can attest, the significantly higher production quality of Devilri breathes new life into the reinterpreted tracks, as is perhaps best demonstrated on this particular rendition of "Might of the Godz." The majestic 40-second intro that was added to this song for this recording best exemplifies the Celtic Frost influence on Pandemonium, as it is undeniably modeled after "Innocence and Wrath," Celtic Frost's intro to their masterpiece album, To Mega Therion.
That curiosity aside, this demo stands strongly on its own, with its adherence to a doomier style of Satanic Death Metal than what became more widely popularized in the subgenre as a whole. The slower tempos, in combination with the deep, growling vocal style, effectively blur the boundary between black and death metal and thus bring the listener back to a time when such distinctions were not as easily defined. Although Pandemonium's impact was not fully realized until the release of its debut album in 1994, Devilri is the recording that laid its foundation and thus strongly merits a revisit some 25 years after it was first unleashed.