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Paganland - From Carpathian Land (Reissue)

From Carpathian Land (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 15 December 2018, 7:15 AM

Reissues of an album are done when it becomes a rare item to be found by the fans, but in the case of many bands, some new material or another rare set of songs is put on the package to make it more attractive for the older part of the fans, that part that follows a Metal group faithfully since the hard beginning. The quintet PAGANLAND, from Ukraine, seems to know that clearly, then on this new release of “From Carpathian Land”.

Originally released on 2016, this new release has some bonus tracks. But the band’s musical work is based on a Folk/Pagan Black Metal way, done as it was done back in the 90’s, allowing excellent melodies, but always with a filthy and harsh insight guiding the quintet’s work. Barely their musical work can be labeled as new, but it is really excellent, because it doesn’t live off the past, but it is filled with life, aggressiveness and energy, and the keyboards parts. And as bonus, there are the four songs from the band’s first Demo Tape “Gods of Golden Circle”, from 1999, a rare item to be found today.

The mixing and mastering were done by the band’s drummer, Lycane, and he kept it crude and harsh in a way that is linked to the past of the genre, but not in a way that the listener can’t understand. It’s a typical Black Metal sound quality. On “Gods of Golden Circle”, the sound is even rawer than the previous ones, but what can a fan expect from a Demo Tape from 19 years in the past?

Musically, the band has potential to offer a great work in the future, but even now, it’s very good. “У Серці Карпат (At the Heart of Carpathians)” has charming Pagan melodies created by the keyboards, but being aggressive in the guitars; the same occurs on “Чорногора (Black Mountain)”, but the melodic approach is greater, allowing an excellent guitar work, and this is the same case of what is heard on “Морок (The Gloom)”, and the melodic and crude grasp of “Чугайстер (Chuhayster)” are indeed the best moments of the album. But “Gods of Golden Circle”, “Stribog Winds” and “Nightforest” (“Pikuj” is just an intro, the ones from “Gods of Golden Circle” Demo Tape) keep the essence, but allows the listener to make a comparison between the past and the present of PAGANLAND.

The quintet shows a very good work on this reissue. But on the next album, the best way is to hire a good producer to help them to find a better sound quality.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Стожари (Stozhary)
2. У Серці Карпат (At the Heart of Carpathians)
3. Чорногора (Black Mountain)
4. Підперезаний Духом (Belted by Spirit)
5. Морок (The Gloom)
6. З Карпатського Краю (From Carpathian Land)
7. Чугайстер (Chuhayster)
8. Gods of Golden Circle
9. Stribog Winds
10. Nightforest
11. Pikuj
Dmytro Krutyholova - Vocals
Eerie Cold - Guitars
Ivan Kulishko - Bass
Ruen - Keyboards
Lycane - Drums
Record Label: Hidden Marly Productions


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