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Pagans Mind – Infinity Divine

Label: LMP Music/SPV
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Pagans Mind, from Norway, create Prog Metal in an exciting vibrant form taking bits and pieces from the likes of Dream Theater, infusing the power and energy of European Power Metal bands like Gamma Ray and Stratovarius with a healthy dose of George Lynch (guitarist for Dokken) style riffs.  Pagans are not as technical as Dream theater, arrangements are easier to digest and more straight ahead primarily driven by the guitars and that’s where the European sound and style seeps in. 

With this revisiting of their first album those wanting to expand their musical horizons with some Progressive Metal will surely enjoy what they have to offer.  Guitars are very strong, vocals soar, and the rhythm section is sooo tight.   A fine example of this talent would be the dynamic ”New Beginning” which includes for variety a funky jazzy breakdown complimenting the core riff delivery. 

But, I must focus my attention on one of the bonus tracks this release has to offer.  It is no easy feat to cover a King Diamond song.  Being a long time listener of his work, I listened to this cover of “At the Graves” with a fine toothed comb.  Pagans Mind did a fantastic job paying homage to the King.  Every little detail has been considered right down to the haunting intro, guitar and keyboard tones are dead on as in the original arrangement, this is almost a perfect recreation note for note.  The most difficult task is to match King’s voice and singer Niles did not take this task lightly and has matched King on many of the vocals.  Even if the tone of his voice is not exactly like Kings his intentions are as wicked as King’s in the original recording.  Keyboard sounds and effects are perfect, guitar leads and solos for the most part are true to the original, and what is improvised does not take anything away from the way we are used to it.  As a bonus you get guest shredders Glen Drover (now with Megadeth) who once played guitar with the King Diamond band, and Gus G (guitarist for Dream Evil, and Firewind).  Very cool shit.  My favorite part is what Pagans Mind has done to the ending arrangement right after the last vocal verse King sings, the keyboard accompaniment and instrumentation is just killer.  This is Horror Prog Metal at its best.  Pagans Mind have breathed new life into a classic!  One of the best covers I have ever heard. King would be proud.

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