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Review: Paganus - Paganus

Label: Total Rust Music
Year released: 2008
Duration: 48:21
Tracks: 4
Genre: Doom/Death

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 9, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (2 Votes)

Paganus are a Finnish Doom/Death five-piece who formed in 2000, only releasing a couple of demos up until this (their self-titled debut album) was released by tiny Israeli label Total Rust Music in January of this year. When you take into consideration that even though there are only 4 tracks on offer here, that the album still has a runtime stopping just short of 50 minutes, you'll win no prizes for guessing the tempo at which they play their music — s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w.

With that said, they have enough inventiveness in their song structures to keep a vice-like grip on your imagination for every second. Every nuance, every crackle of static filled distortion and every moment of contemplative silence has been perfectly honed to serve you with one of the finest doom releases I've heard in 2008 thus far. Even though the tempo is generally slow, it doesn't stop the strangulated guitars occasionally straying off to a more mid tempo pace to pound your senses with a fantastically defiant vigor. Vocally, it's not your standard Doom/Death affair either, with blackened throaty hiss interchanging between an easily intelligible shout depending on the mood of the riff that they're topping.

All of these separate ingredients blend into one incredible whole, with the excellent songwriting shining through the darkened mire and charred moods that glide around this album like restless wraiths. The whole album is figuratively bursting with atmosphere, burrowing deep into your psyche and melting away your awareness of time and surroundings for its entire run time.

It's bands like Paganus that keep the underground alive and well. To all the doom fanatics out there - save your pennies that you were going to spend on the latest mainstream doom bands and check this bad boy out instead; the music simply demands it.

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