Honestly, I have not been terribly impressed with Norway's Pagan's Mind. I have and have heard all three of their previous releases. The most impressive is 2005's Enigmatic: Calling,' followed closely by their debut, 'Infinity Divine' (2000), rereleased in 2004. Their blend of Scandinavian progressive metal mixed with traditional power metal really did not inspire. But this may be because it is a real challenge to offer something new and innovative in this genre. Only a few bands can rise above the crowd. With the release of 'God' Equation,' I think Pagan's Mind has finally done just that. On 'God's Equation,' Pagan's Mind is at full throttle and in their groove. This is the album they were destined to make.
The outstanding characteristics of this work are the excellent production, the skilled musicianship, and innovative arrangement. Yes, I said, innovative. Now, I believe, Pagan's Mind in in the same league of their progressive metal influences and peers like Dream Theater and Symphony X. The album has a singular congruity with all songs combining contributing the great whole. 'God's Equation' impresses with songs that move easily between progressive metal mixed with power metal and those dosed with straight heavy metal. And this is all wrapped up in often melodic arrangements. A song liked 'Painted Skies' is a perfect example of the latter. On the title track you have the former where some basic power metal riffs drive a progressive arrangement. But these are not the best tracks on the album.
To get a true taste of the maturity of Pagan's Mind's progressive metal you must listen to 'Hallo Spaceboy' which has a positively psychedelic feel and Nils Rue' vocals rule the day. Also, 'Alien Kamikaze' is infectiously captivating with its thrilling rhythm section, brilliant vocal arrangements, and ripping guitar work. Then you have 'Spirit Starcruiser' that simply blends progressive metal with best of power and heavy metal. This may be classic or signature song of Pagan's Mind's collective works. (It also has the best guitar solo on the album.) 'God's Equation' ends with the epic 'Osiris' Triumphant Return,' a song which adds a symphonic characteristic to their significant progressive metal.
'God's Equation is by far Pagan's Mind's best work to date. It is wholly pleasing and should be in every progressive metal fan's library.
- Craig Hartranft
Norway's Pagan's Mind has released their most ambitious, innovative and complete progressive metal work to date. This a significant, and better, contribution to a crowded and often stifling genre.
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