Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy review


209 users:
Band: Pagan's Mind
Album: Heavenly Ecstasy
Release date: May 2011

01. Contact
02. Eyes Of Fire
03. Intermission
04. Into The Aftermath
05. Walk Away In Silence
06. Revelation To The End
07. Follow Your Way
08. Live Your Life Like A Dream
09. The Master's Voice
10. Never Walk Alone
11. When Angels Unite
12. Create Your Destiny [limited edition bonus]
13. Power Of Mindscape [limited edition bonus]

We are looking at the 5th studio release from my favorite Norwegian metal band, Pagan's Mind. After countless listens I'm completely convinced that Heavenly Ecstasy is my second favorite Pagan's Mind album; it just falls short of Celestial Entrance. The song titles look promising and the cover is a fresh change from the previous blue color that dominated the album art of its predecessors.

The first track "Eyes OF Fire" could be my favorite Pagan's Mind track alongside "Through Osiris' Eyes" from Celestial Entrance. Both contain that unmistakable oriental feel and Jørn Viggo Lofstad nails an amazing solo while Stian delivers some seriously stylistic heavy drumming. It's important to note that Nils K. Rue sounds in his best form on this album and the highlight of his performance is in "Follow Your Way", another top track on Heavenly Ecstasy. While a few songs fall short of expectations ("Walk Away in Silence," "The Master's Voice") they are not bad songs at all, definitely better than the weak songs on God's Equation. The overall production is really good and all the instruments can be heard clearly. The limited edition comes with two decent bonus tracks which are a welcome addition to the album's track list. On the other hand, Heavenly Ecstasy doesn't contain very long songs that a progressive metal enthusiast would expect. The longest song is 8:32 which might be one of the very few flaws in this album and the last track, "When Angels Unite," is completely out of place even if it is the album closer (it sounds more like an excerpt from the Lion King soundtrack).

Call it progressive metal or power metal, Pagan's Mind manage to blend several styles to give us my favorite prog/power release of the year so far. Even some Nu riffs are present at times with growling just like the exceptional "Revelation To The End." If you stumble upon this album don't hesitate to pick it, it's a listen for months and months to come.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Mountain King | 07.10.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Most acclaimed bands have moved away from power metal, either by simplifying their music and turning to hard rock, or by making their albums darker and more in the heavy metal or prog realm. I hate dividing music into "oldies" and "new stuff", but in this sub-genre, the cliché is true - new bands have turned it into a parody of itself - so dog-whistle vocals, guitar riffs and keyboard passages frillier than Rococo dresses are considered good examples of power metal. Since Pagan's Mind clearly show that it's possible to release power metal albums of very good quality in 2011, this is certainly a wake-up call to the rest of the flock to get their act together and release material at least a point lower, or on par with Heavenly Ecstasy.

published 07.12.2011 | Comments (37)


Comments: 6   Visited by: 74 users
07.10.2011 - 05:56
Good review! I love the album (and band) myself, but I haven't listened to it much since right after its release. Beats the hell out of the sour God's Equation for sure, though...
My lo-fi synth project:
07.10.2011 - 07:22
Good review, I guess I would hesitate to say that anything off of God's Equation was weak. This album certainly has a different feel from their previous works.
07.10.2011 - 07:34
Garth Vader
This album blew my mind, and I was hesitant to look forward to it too much because I didn't want to be let down after the other amazing albums these Norwegian masters have laid down. It is still in rotation and doesn't get old, just like Celestial Entrance never did. 10.
Now I so clearly see how I have murdered me
07.10.2011 - 16:05
As much as I've enjoyed previous PM albums none of them are quite as addictive as this one, definitely my favourite. A fair review, though some of the songs you list as the weaker ones are some of the best for me.

The only problem which I found was, like you mention, that last track which seems out of place. Other than that this is near perfect for me, they fuse their earlier Prog/Power sound with a more Power metal oriented approach which is just irresistibly catchy.
08.10.2011 - 23:50
Very good review, I think practically the same when it comes to this album, although I might need to listen to it more>>!!
13.10.2011 - 17:34
Lukas Jax
Amazing album and amazing musicians. Strongest release, but that's to say they all are for me. Love this band.

Their range of material is astonishing!

Hits total: 3809 | This month: 45