Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy review



Reviewer:
8.8

203 users:
8.22
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]


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.

I must admit that a superficial acquaintance with God's Equation was my only experience with this band before 2011, but it appeared to me that Heavenly Ecstasy is heavier than its predecessor. Pagan's Mind certainly know their licks, so I shall probably check out the rest of their back catalog, but it will surprise me if I come across an album better than this.

Why am I praising it so much? Its main quality for sure is that it doesn't forsake heaviness, it endorses it - the riffs on "Into The Aftermath" and "The Master's Voice" are awesome examples of how to make heavy riffs in the 21st century that aren't ripped off from 80's thrash or heavy metal. There's nothing wrong with overly melodic traditional metal releases, but I sometimes wonder where has all the denim and leather gone. Pagan's Mind has it in spades, drenched with the sweat of metalheads coming back from an awesome gig.

Along with all that metalhead sweat comes the perfumed scent of their lady-friends - well, us girls don't exactly smell of flowers after a gig, but you catch my drift. The band isn't afraid to offer shamelessly catchy hooks, sometimes resembling 80's rock and pop. For example, "Live Your Life Like A Dream" even has a line of lyrics taken from the great early 90's radio hit, "Black Velvet" - bonus points if you find it on the first listen without looking at the lyrics! But that's not the only external influence on this release - there's a lot of prog mixed up in here, mostly in terms of atmosphere and the feel that sometimes resembles that of early Dream Theater and Queensrÿche albums. Some lines with rasped vocals even remind me of select Children Of Bodom moments, but that's probably just me.

Wrap this up with awesome solos, a professional and charismatic vocalist and a production worthy of the overall quality of the release and you have the best power metal album of the year. I hope this will inspire other bands to kick the quality of their future releases up a notch, for Heavenly Ecstasy has certainly raised the bar high.


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


 



Written on 07.12.2011 by A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.

Guest review by
Mountain King
Rating:
8.2
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.

Read more ››
published 07.10.2011 | Comments (6)


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 37   Visited by: 389 users
08.12.2011 - 04:27
Slinky666
Account deleted
What's in Pagan's Mind? Rock-star music!

So much more interesting than a Christian's Mind, which could be something like
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10.12.2011 - 07:20
JÄY
Metal slave
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.12.2011 at 01:25

I've yet to come across a power metal album I enjoy, but your review intrigued me. I'll check out a song or two on Youtube when I have the time tonight and see what's up.

I've noticed a few times that you're trying to get into power metal....please don't start here. Not that it's bad, but It's too much of a leap from what you're liking now. It's like being a power-only-fan and starting your doom journey with Ahab (or probably something more brutal). Baby steps, ya know? This shit is cheesy. Try Pharoah's The Longest Night.
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16.12.2011 - 11:28
K†ulu
Seeker of Truth
I commend your writing. Such a well-composed review. Maybe I will even check this one out.
----
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
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16.12.2011 - 11:37
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by K†ulu on 16.12.2011 at 11:28

I commend your writing. Such a well-composed review. Maybe I will even check this one out.

Why thank you. I figure you'll probably like this, we've exchanged messages before and your opinions on bands often matched mine, or so I remember, so you'll have no problem, really
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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03.01.2012 - 18:48
Mountain King
K i K o
It's wierd no one mentioned Keeper Of The Seven Keys to get in touch with great Power Metal. Or Visions by Stratovarius or the Metal Opera I by Avantasia. I mean who doesn't like these albums has got someth wrong seriously...
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22.01.2012 - 03:04
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Mountain King on 03.01.2012 at 18:48

It's wierd no one mentioned Keeper Of The Seven Keys to get in touch with great Power Metal. Or Visions by Stratovarius or the Metal Opera I by Avantasia. I mean who doesn't like these albums has got someth wrong seriously...

Out of all three I like a half of Visions. So that means it's a wonder how I like some power metal at all?
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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22.01.2012 - 03:16
Mountain King
K i K o
Written by Milena on 22.01.2012 at 03:04

Written by Mountain King on 03.01.2012 at 18:48

It's wierd no one mentioned Keeper Of The Seven Keys to get in touch with great Power Metal. Or Visions by Stratovarius or the Metal Opera I by Avantasia. I mean who doesn't like these albums has got someth wrong seriously...

Out of all three I like a half of Visions. So that means it's a wonder how I like some power metal at all?

Definitely lol...
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