Monday, June 17, 2013

Pagan Altar - Mythical and Magical (2006)
And now for another little gem I discovered: Pagan Altar may not be the most famous NWOBHM band of the 80's, but they are certainly one of the most unique. Their keen sense of melody, a hallmark of the NWOBHM sound, in addition to their penchant for atmospheric doom and incorporation of folk (reflecting the pagan motif of their band name) all make for a highly rewarding and engaging listen. It has a distinct vintage, proto-metal feel to it even though it's most definitely a metal album. If there's anything that drags the album down, it's Terry Jones' vocals which take some time getting used to after which they seem to fit the music. Minor complaints aside, this is a really strong, even addictive record that hearkens back to 80's metal while subtly incorporating the style of Black Sabbath. Not only is it an intriguing musical experiment, but it's also a great record that metal fans of all stripes should hear.

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