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Pagan Altar - The Time Lord (Reissue) Award winner

Pagan Altar
The Time Lord (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 December 2019, 12:02 PM

During the days of NWOBHM, many bands with different musical works appeared, and it can be said that some different musical forms appeared as well, and not like the NWOBHM trademark sound. Many of English Doom Metal giants arose from the grave on those days, as WITCHFINDER GENERAL (a forefather of the genre, a giant, and maybe one of those who helped to concrete the genre’s seminal features on English shores). Another name from the earlier days of Doom Metal is PAGAN ALTAR, and this is the time for a new issue of their EP “The Time Lord”.

This EP is a proof of the band’s Doom Metal identity, because the music here is something really bitter, slow and crude, without much influences of traditional Heavy Metal or Hard Rock from the 70’s. It’s really their natural musical work the one that they started to do back in 1978 (the year the band was formed). Be prepared, because it’s truly oppressive, but always with a good technical level (the bass guitar presence during “Judgement of the Dead” is really amazing, sounding in a way that “Geezer” Butler would be proud to listen). The sound quality, as the reader could expect, is not as crude as some Doom Metal from the earlier days would do (because this EP was originally released back on 2006), but the organic feeling of the late 70’s/earlier 80’s was capitated in a very good way. Yes, it sounds great and rusty, but in a way that anyone can understand what the band is playing.

“Highway Cavalier” sounds as a Hard Rock song from the 70’s, but with a massive dose of musical weight and aggressiveness (and the guitars are amazing with its nasty riffs and melodic solos), and “The Time Lord” is in an early Hard Rock way as well. But “Judgement of the Dead” becomes a funereal march with slow tempos and a darkened ambiance that can remind the same one heard on albums as “Black Sabbath” and “Paranoid” (and again the guitars are amazing, but with bass guitar making an excellent work as well). The funeral dirge keeps its march to the cemetery on “The Black Mass”, another song filled with slow rhythm, and a dose of weight that can smash bones (the vocals are really great on it). The clean melodies that begin “Reincarnation” are just to catch the attention, because the song keeps the Doom Metal outfit of the previous ones (and shows a very good work on the drums). And “Night Rider” is a bonus of this reissue, another song that bears a Hard Rock outfit in some moments, but with the Doom Metal oppressive energy.

“The Time Lord” reissue is really a good choice for those that want to know PAGAN ALTAR’s work, but a chance to understand that Doom Metal wasn’t done to be elegant, but crude and rough!

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Highway Cavalier
2. The Time Lord
3. Judgement of the Dead
4. The Black Mass
5. Reincarnation
6. Night Rider 
Terry Jones - Vocals
Alan Jones - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Les Moody - Guitars on “Highway Cavalier” and “The Lime Lord”
Glenn Robinson - Bass
Ivor Harper - Drums on “Highway Cavalier”, “The Lime Lord” and “Judgement of the Devil”
Mark Elliot - Drums on “The Black Mass” and “Reincarnation”
Record Label: Temple of Mystery Records


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