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Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy CD (album) cover

HEAVENLY ECSTASY

Pagan's Mind

 

Progressive Metal

3.44 | 53 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pagan's Mind, one of Norway's most famous progressive power metal acts, has been slowly shedding away their progressive past in favor of a more straightforward melodic power metal approach. Heavenly Ecstasy, the band's fifth studio album, shows this trend continuing and essentially reaching "full circle" - this is a catchy, memorable, and easily accessible melodic power metal album... but with a twist. Rather than coming across as cheesy or relying too heavily on hooks, Pagan's Mind still manages to create intricate compositions that don't lose their luster even after repeated listens. If you're a fan of mildly progressive power metal, Heavenly Ecstasy should prove to be one of the best albums 2011 has to offer. This is a well-played, well-composed, and irresistible album that has consistently left me impressed after every spin!

The music here is melodic power metal with a few progressive touches. The only song I'd really consider a full-blown prog metal track is "Revelation to the End", but even that's a borderline case. Most songs are characterized by Ronny Tegner's synth work; people who are allergic to heavy layers of keyboards may have an issue with that aspect of the album. I happen to think his playing is extremely tasteful and it is a very big part of what makes Heavenly Ecstasy so great. Most of the songs are extremely memorable and "grab you" from the very first listen. Although music this accessible often tends to warrant very few replays, Heavenly Ecstasy contains enough variation to still impress after many spins. This is an album that is just overflowing with memorable and high-quality compositions, and the execution is equally superb. The production was initially a bit of an issue for me (especially the effects done to Nils K. Rue's vocals), but I've grown to enjoy it more over time. And, of course, the musicianship is top-notch across the board.

Similarly to Evergrey's 2011 album, Heavenly Ecstasy may very well alienate the progressive-minded section of Pagan's Mind's fanbase. Pagan's Mind seems to have left behind much of their progressive metal influence in favor of a melodic power metal sound - although this may be a bad thing for some, these Norwegian veterans deliver the sound so professionally and memorably that it's difficult not to be impressed. If you're somebody who enjoys the European power metal scene, Heavenly Ecstasy isn't something to miss out on. 4 stars are well-deserved.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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