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Pagan Throne - Our Blackest Roots Award winner

Pagan Throne
Our Blackest Roots
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 23 April 2020, 4:28 AM

Brazil has an excellent Metal scene, with thousands of Metal maniacs throughout the entire country, but unfortunately, the scene is fragmented by many reasons, including by political ideologies (it’s not exaggerated to say that if you go with a shirt with the colors of United States flag you’ll be lynched by a furious mob). And it has a price: it’s rare the chance to see new names getting the same recognition and commercial praise that only a few have (even with names as SEPULTURA and KRISIUN isn’t the best ones from Brazil, and it’s not a lie or a wrong idea). And PAGAN THRONE, from Rio de Janeiro, could be a success, because their musical work is always excellent, and evolve from a release to another. Their latest album, “Our Blackest Roots” (that will be released officially on 05/10/2020), is a proof of these words.

The band’s music is the same Pagan/Folk Black Metal with their Viking Metal energy from all their releases. The difference now is that they keep melodic and darker as shown on the EP “Dark Soldier”, but recovered some extreme influences from the past, along with some traces from Death Metal and Thrash Metal as well (even some traditional Heavy Metal influences can be heard on the melodies as well), and the use of guitar solos (what is unusual for Black Metal bands) is heard in many parts of the album (hear the one on “Dark Soldier” to understand these words). The orchestrations improved a lot as well, but always aggressive and climatic, and the energy that flows from their songs is charming in a way that is impossible to resist.

Rafael Luís (guitarist from UNNATURE) once more worked as producer, and did the mixing and mastering as well (he already had worked with the quintet on “Dark Soldier”). He did a work that gave the album’s sonority a modern and aggressive insight, with a fresh and living energy flowing in every moment, keeping every musical instrument loud, clean and with the right effects.

The albums songs are excellent, showing a potential that always bloom on the band’s musical work. But the meeting of brutality with charming melodies of “The Golden Sands” (there are chants and fine orchestrations in the beginning, before aggressiveness of the shrieked vocals take over, and during the chorus, some clean voices creates a tender contrast), the Thrash Metal essence on some guitar riffs of “Show the Face of Defeat”, the melodic impact of “The Expansion of the Black Empire” (excellent bass guitar and drums parts, indeed, due the very good tempo changes), the amazing contrasts of ambiances heard on “Ascend for the Sirius” (once more, great vocals and keyboards), the nasty melodies sharpened by the guitars entwined by keyboards heard on “The Purest Breed”, and the slower and bitter tempos of “Nations and Tribes” are the finest moments of the album. And there’s a new version for “Dark Soldier” presented here, re-recorded by the band’s new lineup.

PAGAN THRONE is one of the finest hidden treasures on Brazil that easily could eclipse the known names, and “Our Blackest Roots” is a clear statement of that. Just hear the album and take your own conclusions.

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

5 Star Rating

1. The Human Codex
2. The Golden Sands
3. Show the Face of Defeat
4. The Expansion of the Black Empire
5. Blessed by War
6. Ascend for the Sirius
7. The Purest Breed
8. From Its Early Evolution
9. Nations and Tribes
10. Dark Soldier
Rodrigo Garm - Vocals
Renan Guerra - Guitars, Synth, Orchestrations
Bruno Hage - Keyboards, Programming
Thiago Amorim - Bass
Alexandre Daemortiis - Drums
Record Label: Urubuz Records


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