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Pagan Reign - Once Again

Pagan Reign
Once Again
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 02 May 2019, 5:12 AM

PAGAN REIGN is back with their first full-length album in 13 years. It’s also the first album since they came back together in 2012. ‘’Once Again’’ is the name of the album and does reflect their thoughts on coming back to the Metal Scene after a long hiatus. The name really fits well with their thought process on coming back once again and doing what they do best.

The Eastern European Folk Metal scene has been blooming since the mid 2000’s pretty much and a lot of bands are crossing the borders over to North America and have had some pretty good success. Bands like ARKONA have made a legit mark on the scene and are well loved everywhere they go and they consider PAGAN REIGN has huge influences on their career path, musically and professionally. PAGAN REIGN made it possible for other bands to breakout and now they want part of the action. Will we see them over here in North America, well time will tell. The production could have been ways better but they pretty much kept minimalistic at best. It could have been way better but they preferred that raw sound over anything that was overly produced. It's not necessarily at knock on the band but more an observation nonetheless.

The harsh vocals are quite the contrast to the music. You have a lot of traditional medieval and folk instruments present on this album and some pretty cool acoustic guitar here and there. They keep with the essence of Folk Metal, what Folk Metal should be. They talk about their pagan ancestors and their Slavic pride and heritage, which is a nice touch. Like I said the harsh vocals are a stark contrast but sometimes he goes into this raspy voice that is a nice departure on some songs. He does a good job and his harsh vocals are not overdone and it fits well with the mood of the album. He does a fine job going from one style to another. The drumming is tight and the guitar work is on point. You have a lot of diversity, from the classical elements of olden instruments with the fast riffs and blastbeats along the way. You got something for everyone.

I would have enjoyed a better production but PAGAN REIGN are back with a vengeance and deliver a strong album that is epic yet haunting.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stairway from Golden Svarga
2. Return of Slavonian Gods
3. Once Again
4. On Fiery Simargl’s Wings
5. Reborn
6. The Will to Freedom
7. Pagan Reign
8. Light of Iriy
9. The Dawn
10. Where the Sun Rises
11. To the End of Svarog’s Night
12. Behind the Sunlight
Lineup:
Orey – Vocals , Guitars, Mandolin and Bass
Tojo – Guitars, Flute, Zhaleika and Mandolin
Demosthen – Drums
Record Label: Casus Belli Music
     


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