Say what you will about European/Scandanavian progressive/power metal. Call it redundant, insignificant, or passe if you wish. Then returns Norway's Pagan's Mind with their first new album in four years, Heavenly Ecstasy. Consider them now master of the genre as Heavenly Ecstasy borders on brilliance, if not their best work to date. Did I say, I'm a fan?
First impressions are this: Heavenly Ecstasy is, perhaps, the most accessible work from Pagan's Mind in their career. Strong melodic lines coupled with memorable hooks are found throughout. Yet, the music is still heavy, and still versatile with every player and instrument offering a dynamic contribution. Intermission, Walk Away in Silence, and the huge melodic metal of Live Your Life Like A Dream strike this chord.
But every song on Heavenly Ecstasy has a certain approachable groove. Eyes of Fire and Follow Your Way are well paced and melodic offering generous amounts of metal. There are songs with a hint of modern nuances, that is some harsh, but unobtrusive vocals, as on Into the Aftermath and The Master's Voice. While you would expect strong vocals and blistering guitar solos, some songs feature lavish keyboard work. Ronny Tegner stars on Into the Aftermath and Revelation to the End. The latter is the longest piece on Heavenly Ecstasy, and the most progressive. If your interest in Pagan's Mind turns on former works, this song is a singular reason why they are masters of their craft. Revelation to the End is intense, complex, and highly entertaining.
Look out Dream Theater, Symphony X, and other peers contending to the progressive metal throne. Welcome back Pagan's Mind. Heavenly Ecstasy raises the bar once more; it's their best most accessible genius to date. But, hey, as I said, I'm a fan. And you should be too. Well recommended!
Look out Dream Theater, Symphony X, and other peers contending to the progressive metal throne. Welcome back Pagan's Mind. Heavenly Ecstasy raises the bar once more; it's their best most accessible genius to date.
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