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Paganland - Fatherland

by Claire Taylor at 08 May 2015, 11:10 PM

Founded in 1997, Ukrainian Pagan Black Metal five-piece, PAGANLAND sure give us a hint with their name. With Folk/Pagan influences in their music, they were almost a breath of fresh air in the Black Metal scene, despite being one of the oldest bands to uphold this style. Being a fan of the Pagan/Folk sound in Metal, I was pleasantly surprised after listening to “Fatherland”.

Firstly I'd like to talk about the impressive and surprising vocal style of Volodymyr. He certainly has a great deal of diversity with his voice as he often changes from an epic Christopher Lee style that leans towards a Power Metal voice, to dark and low growling. I must also credit the Keyboard work of Ruen since it's this that defines the Pagan theme in this album. Although I feel the Keyboards are what makes it this genre, the sounds produced by Ruen are not all the same, which is what I loved. I cannot deny that the melodies are insanely catchy and almost too epic! Their pace remains relatively steady throughout with perfectly timed, energetic guitar riffs from Yuri and drum breaks, yet we can occasionally experience some fast paced drumming that classic Black Metal style. “Native Word! Shackled Eagle!” takes a very Power Metal approach with the epic, long winded vocals and Keyboards, almost being able to cast impressive images of Slavonic landscapes in my mind. “Stellar Path” again, reminds us that they have the skills to change such extraordinary and influential Folk style into Black Metal instantly. My only criticism would be that on occasion, Volodymyr's vocals can sound a bit off key, particularly during the long notes. But for me, that is nowhere near enough to put me off this epic album.

I loved the contrast of the powerful clean vocals with the dark, Black Metal growling and drumming. The underlying Folk melodies ensure the Pagan theme yet can be twisted towards that sinister sound. These guys really make this style work and it's refreshing to hear the result of a successful merging of so many much-loved genres.

4 Star Rating

1. The Dawn of a New Era
2. The Voice of the Carpathians
3. Through the Winter Coldness
4. Stellar Path
5. Native Word! Shackled Eagle!
6. The Eternal Fire of Fame
7. Fatherland
Volodymyr - Vocals
Ruen - Keyboards, Synth
Yuri - Guitars
Beralb - Bass
Lycane - Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Svarga Music


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