Panthéon

Discography

Orion
Orion
(1972)

Tracks:

  1. Daybreak (R. Wouterson) [2:32]
  2. Anaïs (R. Wouterson) [4:58]
  3. Apocalyps (R. Wouterson) [10:53]
  4. The madman (R. Wouterson) [1:21]
  5. Orion (R. Wouterson) [19:28]

CD bonus tracks:

  1. I want to know  (R. Wouterson) [2:42]
  2. Masturbation  (R. Wouterson) [2:36]
  3. Anaïs  (R. Wouterson) [3:27]
Musicians:
  • Ruud Woutersen: Organ, spinet, piano, ARP synthesizer, vocals
  • Albert Veldkamp: Electric guitar, bass guitar
  • Hans Boer: Flute, saxophone, vocals
  • Rob Verhoeven: Drums, percussion

Information:
Recorded at the Phonogram Studios, Hilversum, 1972.
Produced by Tony Vos.
Engineered by Albert Kos.
Sleeve design by Jan H. van Uden.

LP Vertigo 6360850 (1972)
CD Pseudonym CDP-1074-DD (2001)

Notes:
The tracks I want to know and Masturbation are both parts of the track Orion.

Reviews

Orion is one of the most collectable items on the revered Vertigo "Swirl" label. It was always one of the hardest to track down due to it only being released in their native Netherlands. Now, the great Dutch reissue label Pseudonym has finally brought us a CD from the original masters with three bonus tracks taken from their single (both later incorporated into the side long opus "Orion") plus one variation from the album.

Pantheon are an instrumental progressive rock group with focus on flute, sax and organ and a dazzling, jazzy style rhythm section. Short tracks like "Daybreak" and "Anais" sound like outtakes from a Focus session with beautiful melodies carried by flute. Where Pantheon really shine are on long songs like "Apocalyps" (10:53), a jaw dropping composition. Carried by at least two melodies you will be whistling for days, the track goes through multiple movements with sax and organ leading the charge. The complex bass and drum work is startling as well the addition of electric guitar, flute and wordless voice adds to the many ideas on display. It is exactly this sense of melody that is missing in most of today's music (underground or commercial). Afterwards, the whimsical short "The Madman" introduces the 19 minute title track. Everything that makes Orion special is highlighted here. The complex instrumental arrangements, the strong comprehension of melody, the variation in instrumentation (organ, piano, synthesizer, sax, flute, choral vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) and different styles (jazz, baroque, rock). It's a whirlwind journey and worth every listening second. A still unknown classic and now everyone has a chance to be a part of it.

(Tom Hayes, Gnosis, 2001)

Dutch band Pantheon released just one album in 1972 titled Orion, which is a predominately instrumental affair featuring symphonic keyboards and airey instrumental passages. At times remininscent of bands such as Focus or Trace, the liberal use of a variety of keybords (organ, piano, synth) along with flute, sax, guitars, bass and drums, provides for some dazzling progressive rock. The CD contains all the original five album tracks, plus three singles, one titled "Masturbation", which at the time of the songs original release was renamed "Master Basion" as to not offend the public. The band really hits some high spots on two of the albums epics, "Apocalypse" (with some fierce flute and keyboard blasts) and "Orion." The title track just happens to be an almost twenty minute tour-de-force of epic proportions. Vocals are used very sparingly, and have an almost Jon Anderson with a Gentle Giant twist to them. Those who love symphonic rock that has lots of classical flourishes mixed with complex progressive bursts should enjoy this band immensely. Too bad they fizzled into oblivion after just one album.

(Peter Pardo, Gibraltar)

Pantheon's claim to fame is that they were the only dutch Band signed to Vertigo (the legendary prog "swirl" label) They were not just a pretty label however and sounding like Focus with sub classical stylings, and a confident and complex production. Flute, and layered vocal harmonies decorate their mainly instrumental music which also includes some fine guitar and keyboard work.

(Freak Emporium)

Pantheon are most famous for being the only Dutch band on the Vertigo 'swirl' label which always leaves early progressive fans drooling. Me too. Orion is a fine album of 'Canterbury' influenced jazz rock, similar to Solution, but there are some classical things happening here as on Anais which sounds very similar to early Kayak or The Madman sounding a little like Focus.
I really like this and the CD contains three bonus tracks, two from an early single and the 'single edit' of the aforementioned Anais.

(Eric, Proggnosis)

This album is the only album from a dutch band to be released on the Vertigo 'Swirl' label. It is also the only album Panthéon ever released. Panthéon made music similar to Focus and Solution. Jazzy, canterbury like progressive rock. They started as a fivepiece highschoolband and won a recording session at a national talent scout festival. The recorded single gave them attention and this paved the way to record an album.

The album opens with Daybreak, which resembles Focus' House Of The King a bit. The melody is played by the flute and it has a guitar solo in the middle. There are also some wordless vocals like Thijs van Leer could have done. Anaïs also reminds me of a softer song by Focus, again the song is driven by flute and guitar. It is a very peacefull track. With Apocalyps the sound changes more to the Solution direction. The main instruments are saxophone and organ, although the flute appears on this one also. This is a very sunny and jazzy track. The Madman is a funny short warm-up piece that leads to the highlight of the album, Orion. In this track both the Focus and the Solution side come together. It contains great melodies. I mention Focus and Solution a lot in this review, but that doesn't mean that Panthéon are just copy cats. They have an unique sound of their own, it is just to point out in which corner of the proglandscape Panthéon can be found.

The cd contains three bonus tracks, who were released as singles in 1972. Anaïs is an edit of the album track and Masturbation (at the time released as Master Basion because of the suggestive title) and I Want To Know would later be incorporated in Orion. This is a must for everyone who enjoys a good portion of instrumental prog.

(Dutch Progressive Rock of the Nineteen Seventies)

After the releases from Kayak, Earth &Fire and Finch the Dutch label Pseudonym Records surprised the progheads with the release from the obscure Dutch progrock band Pantheon. I had never heard of them, they existed between 1971 and 1974 and were once the support-act for famous fellow Dutch progrock bands Focus and Solution and The Steve Miller Band, their absolute highlight! In 1974 Pantheon called it a day because of the usual problems with money, at that moment the band members were no older than 21 years!

The five original compositions from their 1972 album Orion sound elaborate, melodic and varied featuring some wonderful twists and turns. The colouring of the songs is beautiful with organ, flute, saxophone and acoustic - and electric guitar, even a modular Moog synthesizer (in the short The Madman)! The musical influences are obvious from Ekseption and Solution (brass) but also Focus (organ sound and Jan Akkerman-like guitar work) but Pantheon doesn't sound as a clone. The highlight on this CD (that contains 3 bonustracks) is the long titletrack delivering lots of shifting moods, great build-up parts and powerful saxophone play. Enjoy this melodic and accessible progressive mix of rock, jazz and classic from my home country.

(Erik Neuteboom, Progarchives)

Although it is somewhat unfair to the achievements of this short-lived Dutch group to sum up their sole album with the statement 'they sound like Supersister,' it's the truth, plain and simple. I like Supersister some but not a lot, and I like this album a little more because the band sticks to music instead of the silly vocals and experiments that marred many a Supersister song.The performances are more musically accomplished than what Supersister played, with very frequent changes, some pretty complex chord changes and melodies, and a fair amount of counterpoint.Generally though, I can't imagine anyone who likes Supersister not liking this or vice versa, except for people who like Supersister only because of the vocals (which would be insane).

The opening of the album is gay, and by that I mean it sounds both overtly happy and fruity. The rest of the album is a lot earthier, though the guitarist and organist both stay with a clean jazzy tone for the album, and there's lots of flute and sax, everything being played with a studied but fun approach. If you like seventies instrumental prog with a jazz edge, there's not much to dislike on the album. And that's probably it's biggest shortcoming- there's not a whole lot to grab on to either, and the whole album has such a similar sound and style that it's more like one 40-minute blob of music than five separate songs. There's a 19-minute song, but there's not much about its beginning to draw you in or at its ending that sounds concluding. Still, this is good stuff.

(dnieper111- Rate your music)

The only Dutch signing on swirl and again an extremely rare record. This is clearly the brainchild of the otherwise unknown Wouterson, who wrote all the material. There is massive influence of Focus, which is underlined by some wordless vocals and prominent flute parts. The first two tracks are modestly respectable progressive rock played in pastel shades. The album really takes off with the long Apocalyps, a more inventive piece of prog-rock, although the end of times surely will be more dramatic than this friendly bit of music, we guess. The madman doesn't live up to its title at all. The side-long title track on side B is better than all that went before. The band plays more concise, sharper, and the melodies are better. Again the ghost of Focus hovers above much of the sound. This is surely a creditable album, but a far cry from, say, Cressida and the likes.

(?, Vertigoswirl)

Singles

I want to know / Master Basion

I want to know (R. Wouterson) [2:42]
Master Basion (R. Wouterson) [2:36]

Philips 6012 195 (1972)

Daybreak / Anaïs

Daybreak (R. Wouterson) [2:32]
Anaïs  (R. Wouterson) [3:27]

Vertigo 6012 950 (1972)