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Pagan's Mind: God's Equation

I can't help but think after listening to the fourth and latest release from Norway's Pagan's Mind, God's Equation, that this is the sort of album that most people wish Queensryche would have released at any point over the last 10 years. It's all here folks, soaring Tate-like vocals, crunchy guitar work, tasty keyboards, memorable melodies, and that ever defining line between prog metal technicality and power metal bombast.

The Queensryche comment aside, God's Equation simply continues a solid string of albums from these Norwegians that really should place them near the top of the genre. After an opening instrumental prelude, the unforgettable title track begins, a song that is just impossible to ignore and will stay with you for days. Lead singer Nils K. Rue shows what a talent he is on this one, his vocals soaring through the heavens while guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad places one perfectly crafted riff after another and keyboard ace Ronny Tegner provides plenty of sizzling leads and textures. Killer riffs and spacey synth stabs permeate the aggressive " United Alliance", a song that sees Rue taking on a meaner tone and Lofstad really firing off some wicked guitar solos. Drummer Stian Lindaas Kristoffersen kicks off the bone crunching "Atomic Firelight" with some deadly drum fills, and the band do an admirable job giving a metal stamp to the Bowie/Eno track "Hallo Spaceboy". The band mixes Helloween styled power metal with a brutal Dream Theater crunch on the massive sounding "Evolution Exceed" while "Alien Kamikaze" and "Painted Skies" combine Queensryche styled theatricality with Pagan's Mind's own brand of crunchy and melodic metal. A real fist-pumper is the progressive "Spirit Starcruiser", a real catchy number with fanstastic vocals from Rue and plenty of intricate keyboard/guitar passages, and the closing epic "Osiris' Triumphant Return" is just a great example of grand and majestic progressive metal, with haunting keys, heavy riffs, booming bass from Steinar Krokmo, and Rue running rampant with no shortage of varied vocal colors.

If you've followed Pagan's Mind over the course of their career, God's Equation will not dissapoint one bid. If you are new to the band, then what are you waiting for? Classy and powerful stuff all around, and highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. The Conception (2:03)
2. God's Equation (7:57)
3. United Alliance (5:04)
4. Atomic Firelight (5:19)
5. Hallo Spaceboy (5:30)
6. Evolution Exceed (6:08)
7. Alien Kamikaze (4:37)
8. Painted Skies (6:33)
9. Spirit Starcruiser (6:02)
10. Farewell (2:10)
11. Osiris' Triumphant Return (8:45)

Added: January 28th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Pagan's Mind Website
Hits: 5459
Language: english

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Pagan's Mind: God's Equation
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-01-28 12:51:31
My Score:

If you are like me and only getting around to the band Pagan's Mind with their fourth release then fear not because "God's Equation" seems to be the perfect starting off point even though these guys have been at this for several years already. As soon as "God's Equation" began I knew I was in for a treat and after a brief instrumental lead in track, "The Conception", the band leads you into the overall premise and power that you will experience on every track of "God's Equation". The self-titled album track shows the band to be a perfect blend of Progressive and Melodic Metal styling with rich instrumentation and adventures behind a truly powerful lead vocal. Running at a healthy 7.56 minutes the tune does not get boring at all and when the choruses come in you find yourself humming them to yourself as the group delivers the goods. The band was founded by their singer Nils K. Rue, and at times his vocal powers remind the listener of a singer like Geoff Tate. His soaring high notes and deep low register ones make Rue one of the better singers I have heard in this genre of music and I am saddened to only have become aware of them in recent times. "United Alliance" is a track that I find "live concert hit" written allover based on its head-bopping riffs by Jorn Viggo Lofstad and great sing-along chorus. They hit you hard with the Groove Metal meets Thrash during "Atomic Fireflight" and while that kicked some serious ass they really impressed me with the next track "Hello Spaceboy". For those unaware this is an old David Bowie track from 1995 and hearing it done up as a Metal tune not only showed the talents of Pagan's Mind but further confirmed the absolute genius of a musician like David Bowie. His tune when done in Metal format lost none of its original appeal and even took on a new life when it came down to it.

The guys deliver enough technical expertise to please even the most stoic of Progressive fans during "Alien Kamikaze" and this one is a knock you down and toss you out at the last stop rollercoaster ride of riffs and speeding patterns. They also manage to slow things down a bit for "Painted Skies" which shows that it does not need to kill you with speed and wild display to be an appealing track. If there is anything that you can take from listening to this recording it's that the band can sure play, and play very well to boot. The rest of the lineup features the talents of Steinar Krokmo (bass), Stian Kristoffersen (drums) and Ronny Tegner (keyboards) all world class musicians from a region of the world most commonly known for its crushing Black Metal. Perhaps a new Renaissance of Progressive Metal is stepping forth from Norway and if you like this stuff as much as I do, this is quite the welcome occurrence. The CD closes with a sweeping and epic number called "Osiris Triumphant Return" and clocking in at almost nine minutes it seems to take a little bit of everything that the guys did and presents it all in one lengthy musical exposition. There is a booklet included with the release that lines out the whole story behind "God's Equation" and gives you lyrics for the songs. It even offers you a lot of band photos and a "story so far" about the group's evolution. This is a great album for anyone who enjoys good Power and Progressive Metal for it not only employs all the expected things of such a genre, but it also delivers on some additional experimentation as well. Definitely for fans of bands like old Queensryche and early Fates Warning.

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