“Driftwoods” is the sophomore album from Michigan’s Pan. This group delivers quite a mixed bag of styles. First off the music is certainly progressive, but there are elements of death metal, doom metal and some stoner rock grooves sprinkled in there as well. I guess what I am trying to say is there is no way to fit Pan neatly into a box, they are a beast all their own.
Pan revels in long complex song structures and I do mean long. “Driftwoods” clocks in at a little under an hour long and only has five tracks, the shortest being “Serpents and Bones” at 8:41. I usually dislike overly long songs but Pan has a way of keeping things interesting. The groups’ divers song arrangements help to keep the listener engaged through these epic musical journeys.
The production on “Driftwoods” is solid although the vocals seem a little lost in the mix at some times. Speaking of the vocals, the majority are death metal type growls but there are some clean parts in there as well I enjoyed the juxtaposition. The guitars are thick and heavy as hell, but I think it’s the bass tone that I enjoyed the most. This trio does manage to sound huge.
If I had to compare Pan to someone I would say maybe old Opeth or Mastodon, but not really. Like I mentioned they are a hard band to pin down and I think that is a good thing. I look forward to seen where this band goes in the future. If you are in the mood for something a little different but still heavy as hell do yourself a favor and check out Pans’ “Driftwoods”