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Pagans Mind – God’s Equation

Label: LMP Music
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

I must say….I am pretty freekin disappointed with Pagans. Their 2000 debut “Infinity Devine” was ear opening and a breath of fresh audio air within the Prog Metal genre. In 2004 the album got a new lease on life with a remastering/remixing treatment from Tommy Hansen that included an outstanding cover of King Diamond’s “At the Graves” and a re recorded version of the track “Embracing Fear”. Six string masters Glen Drover (Megadeth) and Gus G from Firewind also both made guest appearances on the bonus tracks.

 

The follow up “Celestial Entrance” I thought was perfect. It built on the debut and was effortlessly crafted progressive metal with constantly moving catchy arrangements that infused elements from Euro Power Metal with the soaring chorus’ and hooks large enough to land a great white shark. Not a bad song on that album.

Third time around for “Enigmatic: Calling” was a charm. Not as good as “Celestial” in my opinion but still very good.

It combined the very melodic elements and solid similar song structures from “Celestial Entrance” with heavier even more contemporary riffing. Pagan’s Mind’s attention to balance between the progressive changes, guitars propelling each song and a memorable chorus is top notch. With “God’s Equation” there in is where a problem lies, I feel.

First, the opening instrumental “The Conception” is misleading given their previous albums and the vocal effects on the title track that follows…. just how the music drops out and the first few words brings the songs energy to a halt. The riffing is good but I was very disappointed early on. “United Alliance” uses more vocal effects and already I feel I heard enough. Thankfully guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad and his guitar tone and soloing is un changed. “Atomic Firelight” is better, still unnecessary use of vocal effects, but more energetic and a chorus I expect from Niles K Rue. I think he is one of the great new singers and I hate to hear his voice get buried under too many effects.

Stefan Glaumann, who has worked with the industrial band Rammstein, appears to have willed his influence too much for the world of Pagan’s Mind. Throughout the keyboard tone is pretty consistent (for “Evolution Exceed” its more industrialized) and in arrangement this album has a lot in common with “Enigmatic:Calling”. But really what I think is lost is the great chorus’ that Pagan’s Mind has made a name for themselves by. Its getting lost amongst the misdirected more industrialized arrangement changes.

“Alien Kamikaze” is better, the riffing works for me and the more aggressive change mid way kicks the song into higher gear. Like for example “Painted Skies” sounds as if it wants to go in more traditional Pagans direction but misses the mark lacking a good chorus. “Spirit Starcruiser” and “Farewell” capture a more “Celestial Entrance” Pagans Mind.

I don’t know about this album. Does it have to grow on me, am I expecting something that its not? I just think Pagan’s Mind lost some of themselves by going in a more industrialized direction. Some ideas here are great, but the combination of musical ideas has just failed this time. Sorry guys.

 
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