Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PAGAN'S MIND: "Heavenly Ecstasy"

Rating: 9/10

Label: SPV/Steamhammer 2011

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Straight to the point (yeah, right!), have a go at this if you fancy a great and fun mixture of Kamelot, Queensryche and Ultravox!!! Really? Ultravox??? Well, hold your horses, I'm not saying it's "Vienna" Part: 2 for feck's sake... and I'm not entirely sure it's one of their influences or simply just down to coincidence? However, several of the tracks on their rather excellent, "Heavenly Ecstasy", are somewhat comperable to the 'Midge Ure' piano/keyboard drama and pompous behaviour (obiter dictum). It's perhaps just a brief reflection and rather redundant to the overall sound of Norway's Pagan's Mind??? Let's face it, comparisons are sometimes a bore and providing there's an identity of their own in there, why bother??? Well, it's just to bring the "average" music fan up to speed, I guess?

The main base and structure of the album is built on 'power' and with their top notch combination of harmonies and crunchy riffs, they're as fine mix-metal band as imaginable. They're apparently inspired by the success of fellow Norwegian 'Khan' and his 'Kamelot' (I believe it's his former band now?)?, but wish to incorporate several other melodic and prog influences as well. The album begins with "Contact", a spacey intro which merely works as an introduction to the superb, "Eyes Of Fire". This is Pagan's Mind at their best, the use of piano/keyboard is quite stunning and the dark and crunchy riff is a nice counterpart. "Intermission" reeks of Kamelot at their best to be honest and "Into The Aftermath" simply kills.

"Walk Away In Silence" is the sound of Queensryche and "Revelation To The End" takes the drama out of 'Ure' and simply add on power and modern metal. "Live Your Life Like A Dream" is a highly pompous track/semi-ballad with a chorus that goes straight to/for the heart. The bottomline, clearly their 'magnum opus' and highly recommended if you enjoyed the band in the past or acts such as Kamelot, Queensryche (Empire, Rage For Order), and merely a hint of the vivid world of 'Midge Ure'.


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