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Pagans Mind - 2007 Gods Equation



ARTIST: Pagans Mind
ALBUM: Gods Equation
LABEL: Limb Music
SERIAL: LMP 0711-103 CD
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Nils K. Rue - vocals * Jorn Viggo Lofstad - guitars * Steinar Krokmo - bass * Ronny Tegner - keyboards * Stian Kristoffersen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Conception * 02 Gods Equation * 03 United Alliance * 04 Atomic Firelight * 05 Hallo Spaceboy * 06 Evolution Exceed * 07 Alien Kamikaze * 08 Painted Skies * 09 Spirit Starcruiser * 10 Farewell * 11 Osiris' Triumphant Return

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.pagansmind.com


Background
These guys are amassing a reputation as big as Ben Hur (as the saying goes). But after six years in the biz, their fans only know too well that the plaudits are well-deserving. And in 2007, when melodic music (in any genre) is finding it difficult to make any headway, there are still some bands that deliver on queue regardless. One of these being Pagans Mind. These Norwegians made a huge impression with their 2002 epic 'Celestial Entrance' (for me so far it is my album of the decade), and have continued onward like the juggernaut they are. Their musical theme of threading sci-fi storylines throughout their songs has enthralled me, and for 'Gods Equation' this has also continued. There is no let-up on the power, but unlike many others in the same prog metal genre, this band swims in melody most of the time.


The Songs
The short introduction 'The Conception' opens the way forward for the title track 'God's Equation' to blast its way through seemingly impenetrable bulkhead doors. Combining Saga like keys and Queensryche vocals, the songs twists and turns like a ragdoll in the throes of a prog-metal fit. Showing signs of commercial appeal is (for me at least) the stand out track on the album 'United Alliance'. Listen for yourself! Taking a whole bunch of uppers for 'Atomic Firelight' - this is heavy with a capital H. Nils Rue seems to undergo a personality split with a variety of voices and effects being used.. a technique used with great impact on their previous albums. David Bowie and Brian Eno's 'Hallo Spaceboy' is given a 2007 prog-metal rendition here. Ordinarily I'd say.. 'umm.. why bother?' but the modernistic vibe provided by Pagans Mind turns this into an inspired choice. The sci-fi approach is revisited for 'Evolution Exceed' - the riffs are piled on thick and fast, the track going through a few phases of interest. Play this one loud! Without doubt, the track which is the Energizer Bunny of the album is 'Alien Kamikaze'. Stian Kristoffersen keeps the pedal to the metal, Jorn riffs as if his life depends on it, while Rue's multiple personalities borders on disturbing.. lol! 'Painted Skies' slows the tempo noticeably, and while displaying darker tones and a doom-laden vibe, the band triumph by bringing the song into the light with massive starbursts of melody. Jorn's guitar solo here gives John Petrucci and Steve Vai a run for their money in the 'lets see what this whammy bar can do' stakes. Ronny Tegner's keys provide a heap of color on 'Spirit Starcruiser' a song about.. you guessed it.. sci-fi things. A clever lyrical song, with so much happening in the space of six minutes. 'Farewell' is 'The Conception Part II' with a few variations, it is the penultimate offering before the album closer 'Osiris' Triumphant Return', indeed a return to the glorious days of 'Celestial Entrance' five years previous. The band could've released this one track on it's own and I would've been happy!


In Summary
It's really hard to comprehend just how good this lot are. Certainly the band doesn't need me to push their barrow - the quality of the albums alone will do that for them. In guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad they have a guy who has his own unique sound and can be judged alongside some of the genre's greats. Stian Kristoffersen is another guy who is world-class, but the glue holding it all together is singer/lyricist Nils K Rue. His ideas and delivery is what makes Pagans Mind so refreshingly different. Would be interesting to have him at the dinner table talking about everything from 9/11 and climate change to UFO's! An interesting chap no doubt. Like their past efforts, this album requires a few listens 'end-to-end' to get into the swing of things. However, what is certain, is that Pagans Mind continue to astound with their music.


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