Pandemonaeon is an American independent progressive folk metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area founded in 1996 by the neopagan Celtic singer Sharon Knight & her long-time musical collaborator, Winter. While the band has been through several personnel changes, Sharon and Winter remain the driving force behind the music. Pandemonaeon incorporate such folk instruments as violin, oud, saz, mandocello, & flute, as well as many ethnic hand percussion instruments such as dumbek, djembe, tar, & riqq. The band has released two studio albums & one live album, and their music has appeared in feature film & in a bellydance instructional DVD. The word Pandemonaeon was coined by Chaos magician Peter Carroll.
Pandemonaeon was formed in 1996 after the release of Sharon Knight's first solo album, "Incantation." Within a year they were offered a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, but the contract was never realized and the band continued independently on their own label, Trance Jam Records. Their self-titled debut album appeared in 2001, followed by a live album two years later. After a 7-year hiatus & various side projects, the band returned in 2010 with the album "Dangerous Beauty."
Musical style & influences
As most of the songs' subject matter reflects the founding members' neopagan inclination, Pandemonaeon can be categorized as Pagan Rock, Pagan Metal or, more broadly, Folk Metal. Their sound has variously been described as "Gothic Tribal Folk Metal," "music for bellydancers in combat boots," "Led Zeppelin meets Dead Can Dance," and "dark tribal fusion with powerful vocals and metal accents."