Pagan’s Mind: Heavenly Ecstasy

Hailing from Skien, Norway is the progressive metal band Pagan’s Mind. Led by Nils K. Rue on vocals, the group recently signed with SPV. They released their first full-length album since 2007, Heavenly Ecstasy, on May 31.

After a brief, 50-second intro comes “Eyes Of Fire.” It starts out like a mix of metal and techno before you hear explosive drums and Rue’s clear, high voice take over. The guitar solo by Jorn Viggo Lofstad happens to be one of the best moments on the disc. The first official single, “Intermission” is much more melodic and at one point the music completely stops before it comes back to hit harder than before.

The pace really picks up on “Into The Aftermath,” as the keyboards and guitar battle each other, creating an awesome and intriguing mixture. “Walk Away In Silence” and “Live Your Life Like A Dream” seem to touch more on classic rock than metal though they both wind up being pretty damn good. “Revelation To The End” takes you on a roller coaster of emotions through its eight-minutes and change. I was a bit surprised that such a short, soft, piano track like “When Angels Unite” is on this disc. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t seem to fit in with the other songs. The same could be said for the final tune, “Never Walk Alone.”

The album doesn’t end on the highest of notes, but this is an exciting one. With the simply flawless guitars to go along with Rue’s voice, Pagan’s Mind reminds me of the legendary German power metal band Gamma Ray.

In A Word: Solid