Rating:
7.0
Encorion - Our Pagan Hearts Reborn
5 April 2013


01. Our Pagan Hearts Reborn
02. Fire Of Freedom
03. Moonfall, Sunrise
04. Spirit, We Are One
05. Farewell To The Living
06. Fates Illusion
07. We Will Rise
08. Buried In Our Lands


Lots of bands can make a musically pleasing album in the Viking metal style but it is rare for anyone to so precisely capture the physical atmosphere. Our Pagan Hearts Reborn envelops you in a warm fur while the cool winds brush across your face. I feel like I'm sitting outside, in the middle of a Viking encampment; the sea is not far, and everyone is loading the ship and preparing to set sail. I can smell the salt water and hear the sea gulls overhead.

Not just music. It's true atmosphere, this one.

But, what of the music? For the most part it's mid-paced and sitting nicely between melodic and extreme metal. Vocals are primarily of the black metal varieties, though and cleans are present, too. A whistle and violin accompany that traditional metal quartet and the songs flow nicely from one to the next. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The one drawback to this wonderful atmosphere is that it's all a little too similar. Not to say it's monotonous; it absolutely is NOT and I certainly don't get bored listening to this. It's just that there are few special/standout moments by which to remember the album. And there are several missed opportunities for greatness.

The song "Farewell To The Living" falls in the middle of the album and is particularly epic, going on a nice musical journey with buildups and changes. Unfortunately, this seems to be the pinnacle and the album ends without reaching this height again. What follows are several songs that should surpass "Farewell To The Living" in epic-ness but they just can't.

"Fates Illusion" is an acoustic track near the end of the album; it prominently features the strings and is 3 minutes of splendid atmosphere. Though it's acoustic and romantic, it sounds like the calm before the storm and hints at something ominous. Wonderful. Following it should have been the epic final battle, given the subtly menacing build-up, but it really feels like a missed opportunity. These final two tracks break through with only a moderate amount of power and grandeur. They stick with the status quo of the album instead of becoming something extra.

If you prefer to remember melodies, songs, or other such specific moments, then you'll find that lacking here. However, if you prefer to remember images and moods, and enjoy albums that take you on one single journey, then this record may be right up your alley. It's not the album of the year, but it's a worthy addition to any folk metal collection.

Enjoy their music at Bandcamp.


 



Written on 23.05.2013 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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