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Paganland: Wind of Freedom

Although these Ukrainian pagan metallers were formed way back in 1997, 2013's Wind of Freedom is their very first full-length effort (it was recorded two years prior to the actual release). Thankfully, in this case the long wait is rewarded with an incredibly powerful and carefully thought out album.

Deeply rooted in Slavic folklore, but not lacking the necessary metal bite, either, Wind of Freedom takes you on an unforgettable and unique journey to the mist-shrouded woods and mystery-soaked mountains of the Carpathians. "Wheel of Eternity" is a delicate, atmospheric intro, but as soon as it ends, you have to be prepared for literally anything to happen music-wise, as Paganland switches from the most gentle guitar work and some angelic singing (check out the wonderful, folk-heavy "Podolyanka") to energetic, chorus-driven metal anthems (like in the highly contagious "Chornohora"), and to near-death metal growls (these feature very effectively in the likes of "Shadows of the Past" and "Fogs and Twilights"). What makes this album all the more of a treat, though, is the fact that all eight tracks collected here blend into a definitely varied but also smooth and thoroughly enchanting whole.

Let's hope that after having finally released the long-awaited debut album the band members feel all the more encouraged and inspired to compose material for the follow-up. I believe Ukrainian folklore still conceals a good bunch of secrets that need to be revealed to the rest of the world.

1. Wheel of Eternity (intro)
2. Shadows of the Past
3. Power of Spirit
4. Chornohora
5. Podolyanka
6. Night Forest
7. Fogs and Twilights
8. Wind of Freedom

Added: March 20th 2013
Reviewer: Bartek Paszylk
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2414
Language: english

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