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Review: Pagan Altar - The Time Lord
Pagan Altar
The Time Lord

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2012
Originally released in: 2004
Duration: 32:49
Tracks: 5
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 4, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Time Lord

Rated 4/5 (80%) (13 Votes)

With Never Quite Dead, Pagan Altar's first album of new material since 2006's Mythical & Magical, due (hopefully) by the end of 2012, it is no surprise some of their old output is getting the re-master/rerelease treatment. The Time Lord, a 5-song EP originally put out officially in 2004, and bootlegged long before that, is getting its first proper CD release from Shadow Kingdom (in the U.S. with Cruz del Sur handling the European version.)

The Time Lord contains songs written as early as 1978 and provides a good account of the evolution of Pagan Altar's sound. The band has been around since the NWOBHM but hasn't been all that closely associated with the movement over the years. After hearing the first two songs on The Time Lord you'll be wondering why. "Highway Cavalier" is a short, up-tempo song that combines the melodies of 70s Hard Rock with fast-and-loose playing, something the NWOBHM bands borrowed from Punk, into something that could have come from any one of the better bands of the early 80s. Only the distinctive vocals of Terry Jones set this apart as Pagan Altar, but it is still a great song. "The Time Lord" fuses the spacey lyrics of Hawkwind with Santana-style guitars. At eight minutes the song starts to feel like a 60s jam but a good one, as the main riff is a killer. The next three songs are closer to what you might think of as "typical" Pagan Altar. There is still plenty of great guitar work and Jones vocals but the Doom vibe that characterizes much of their later work is present in full measure. "Judgment of the Dead" sounds muddy despite the re-mastering and the background vocals on "The Black Mass" are off-key. These aren't the best songs Pagan Altar have recorded but the band's personality and charisma are undeniable, making The Time Lord better than much of what is out there today, despite its shortcomings.

I don't know if I'd recommend starting your Pagan Altar journey with The Time Lord, rather Mythical & Magical would be my choice. Long-time fans, however, should not be without it and all fans of the NWOBHM will be able to find something they like.

Other related information on the site
Review: Lords of Hypocrisy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Mythical & Magical (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Mythical & Magical (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Room of Shadows (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Terry Jones (vocals) and Alan Jones (guitar) on February 26, 2006 (Interviewed by Cluedo)
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