|Review: Pagan's Mind - God's Equation|
Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: November 10, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.43/5 (68.67%) (30 Votes)
I'm going to be straight with you. Biggest disappointment of 2007? You got it. Pagan's Mind was, and remains to this day, one of the most magnificent discoveries in progressive music ever. They frankly blew away the metal community with their second album "Celestial Entrance" in 2002, and with it they proved what great force they could conjure; a force that united every poetic nuance of both progressive and symphonic power metal into a sphere of purely enlightened music. To be honest, I loved every minute, and after catching them live with Power Quest during the promotion of their third opus "Enigmatic: Calling", I was pretty sure they were about to take over the world. But it was not to be.
First off, I'd like to point out that I'm not one of those pitiful webzine arseholes who eats up whatever this band serves unquestionably - and a fair bit of label bullshit too - just because they were on the verge of mega-stardom due to their growing fan base and obvious, incredible talents. Because as we all know, Pagan's Mind have released the same album since day one, but their style and flare for crafting intellectual, spiritual heavy metal was so fascinating, each album was just as enjoyable as the last. But this is too far. I can forgive them "Enigmatic: Calling" because repeating the success of a major accomplishment like "Celestial Entrance" is a natural move for any band if they feel comfortable to do so. But despite my high hopes for their mysterious fourth record "God's Equation", I feel almost cheated for my loyal anticipation. Why? I'll explain.
I don't want to excoriate "God's Equation" because I have a bone to pick, because this isn't a bad record. In fact, compared to everything else released this year - besides Elvenking, Primal Fear and Threshold's newbies - this is probably the best recitation of the genre in 2007. But for an intellect such as Pagan's Mind, this is such a frustration, because unlike "Enigmatic: Calling", which dipped in quality after track six, "God's Equation" plummets straight after number two. This is such a shame because it starts so well, too. "The Conception" is an intriguing prelude to the absolutely fantastic title track, a song that incorporates all of their odd, quirky idiosyncrasies - the heavenly vocals, the groovy riffs, the other-worldly synths - and is in fact the finest track they have written to date. The same goes for "Evolution Exceed", which is supremely catchy and kicks off with a monster of a riff. The middle section might be borrowed from "The Celestine Prophecy", but we're not here to discuss self-plagiarism. The problem with this album in general is that it is NOTHING we haven't heard before. The same crystal clear production, the same guitar tone, the same vocal lines, the same lyrical format, everything. And as a consequence, it sounds like a poor collection of out-takes from "Celestial Entrance", and just like a bonus cut's collection, it has only two decent tracks. "United Alliance" isn't bad - maybe a tad predictable - "Spirit Starcruiser" has potential, with a cracking verse but a disappointing chorus, and the epic "Osiris' Triumphant Return" has its moments, but the cover of David Bowie's "Hallo Spaceboy" is embarrassingly awful. Although, had it been an original, it would have been the most interesting track on here.
Pagan's Mind have to move forward. We can only digest "Celestial Entrance" so many times with different cover art, and considering the technical capabilities of Nils K Rue and clan, they aren't short of a brain cell or two, so, surely they could create something truly magical? Devoted fan boys will lap this up no matter what, and if you've never sampled the melodic genius of Pagan's Mind, this is as good an introduction as any (obviously!). But if "Celestial Entrance" was a masterclass of intelligent prog/power metal taught by the top professors at Harvard University, "God's Equation" is the same course taught by domestic science teachers at a community college.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Celestial Entrance (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)|
Review: Celestial Entrance (reviewed by ShadowsFall)
Review: Enigmatic:Calling (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: God's Equation (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Heavenly Ecstasy (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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