Norwegian extreme metallers PANTHEON I have announced the addition of former ABSU guitarist Aethyris McKay to the group's ranks. This is a surprise move from the band who recently announced a search for a new vocalist to give frontman Andre Kvebek a chance to concentrate more on guitars and leave the vocalist to range free on stage. However, as PANTHEON I's manager explains, "We received a big response from musicians all over Europe and auditioned vocalists of exceptional ability, all of whom we would have been proud to have front the band, however, it quickly became clear that we had overlooked the obvious, which was that Kvebek's voice is a defining aspect of PANTHEON I's music, and that to replace it with someone else would have altered the whole dynamic of the band."
PANTHEON I and Aethyris first met when the band supported ABSU on their European tour at the end of 2009. Aethyris joined PANTHEON I on stage for a song during the tour, and forged a strong relationship with the band's music and the musicians themselves. Commenting on his new role, the American guitarist, who has now relocated to Norway, said: "Joining PANTHEON I has been outstanding thus far. I feel as though I fit right in here and I love the passion and conviction that encompasses the material. This is an incredible arrangement of musicians and people that I can't wait to assault the world with!" Regarding his departure from ABSU, Aethyris stated, "There aren't words enough to say what being a part of ABSU has meant to me. Working with a great friend and talented individual such as Proscriptor McGovern, was an experience only to be described as Magical! The entire cult of ABSU will always hold a special place with me and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours."
While Kvebek (ex-1349) will concentrate on vocals on stage and leave the live guitar work to Sagstad (TROLLFEST, SARKOM, METAL MILITIA) and Aethyris, he will continue to write for PANTHEON I and will record guitars along with the band's two guitarists. Other members of the lineup include classically trained cellist Live Julianne Costol, TRS (1349, TYRANN) on bass and Mads G (THE ALLSEEING I) on drums. Aethyris will also be bringing an additional perspective to PANTHEON I by performing clean vocals both live and in the studio.
PANTHEON I is currently in the pre-production stage of its fourth full-length album, which will be a follow-up to the critically acclaimed "Worlds I Create" and which will include guest appearances from several well known artists from the extreme metal scene. The band will play two dates in Norway in November, which will mark Aethyris' live debut, and is also due to embark on a tour of Germany in December, along with fellow Norwegians TROLLFEST and the German bands FINSTERFORST and UNLIGHT.