Pagans Mind - 2011 Heavenly Ecstasy

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2020 in year-2011

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ARTIST: Pagans Mind
ALBUM: Heavenly Ecstasy
LABEL: SPV/Steamhammer
SERIAL: SPV 309270 CD
YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Nils K Rue - vocals * Jorn Viggo Lofstad - guitars * Ronny Tegner - keyboards * Steinar Krokmo - bass * Stian Kristoffersen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Contact * 02 Eyes Of Fire * 03 Intermission * 04 Into The Aftermath * 05 Walk Away In Silence * 06 Revelation To The End * 07 Follw Your Way * 08 Live Your Life Like A Dream * 09 The Master's Voice * 10 Never Walk Alone * 11 When Angels Unite * 12 Create Your Destiny * 13 Power Of Mindscape

RATING: image
WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

I have been listening to Pagans Mind new album constantly over the last month. I've always been a fan of this lot since Luigi Cisaria introduced me to them back in 2002.

They never cease to amaze me with the quality of their songs, and 'Heavenly Ecstacy' is no different. To me, this album is far more streamlined than previous efforts, some of the songs take on a hard rock stance more than a progressive metal one, though some of the material is blisteringly heavy as usual, just to make a mockery of me.

Having departed former label Limb Music for fellow German label SPV-Steamhammer, I'm loving what I'm hearing on this new set.

The choruses are killer while the musicianship from all involved is just sensational. Principal songwriter Nils K Rue keeps things interesting, and though the material here is not as sci-fi as 'Celestial Entrance' for instance, there's enough to keep prog metallers happy.

General metal fans shouldn't have to rattle the brain cells too hard to understand where this outstanding Norwegian outfit is coming from.

The Songs

As mentioned, I feel the band is slightly moving away from the pure prog metal scene, allowing their sound to integrate better with traditional power metal and hard rock styles instead.

Certainly from the songs on offer, that would appear to be the case. Many of you will have heard the pre-release YouTube video we slapped up a few months ago for the song 'Intermission'. To my ears, it has a commercial feel to it, despite some typical bruising PM rhythms and lashings of guitar solos with an astounding tapping sequence from Jorn.

The interesting thing about this album is that keyboardist Ronny Tegner is given a load of opportunity to soak up the underbelly with dense layers and given room to move with some incredible keyboard solos on many of the songs.

Hear him work his magic on tracks such as 'Create Your Destiny' and the killer 'Live Your Life Like A Dream', which I thought sounded similar to Danny Danzi and classic era Queensryche in parts. The center-piece guitar and keyboard solos are just perfect, while the chorus has been stabbing my brain for weeks now.

'Revelation To The End' sees PM driving hard, the riffs from Jorn sound as if it's Vicious Rumors on the warpath again.

'Eyes Of Fire' is a mix-up of metalized prog with melodic and ambient verses that pick up aggression toward the chorus.

Also rampant is 'Into The Aftermath' with its rumbling verse and dark pre-chorus. Still, PM manages to eek out melody from the void, better than most bands.

'Walk Away In Silence' is another highlight, the Dokken like guitar work precedes a song that moves in a hard rock style.

Keeping the quality at a premium level, 'Follow Your Way' and 'Never Walk Alone' are both majestic sounding, while the sole ballad 'When Angels Unite' is unique for the fact that it is based around an acoustic piano, subtle and lilting.

In Summary

No two ways about it, Pagans Mind have created a classy CD and aims up as some of the best work they have delivered this side of 'Celestial Entrance'.

Having played this thing to death since its release back in late May, it's taken me this long to get around to writing about it. I'm glad I took my time with it because it was worth the effort.


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