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Paganland - Wind Of Freedom

Wind Of Freedom
by Witch Wolf at 25 March 2013, 9:39 AM

I have been hearing about the Ukrainian Pagan Black Metal band, PAGANLAND, for quite a while, but never took the time to listen to them until now. I wonder if perhaps I have been seriously missing out. I’m not much of a straight up Black Metal fan, but add some Folk elements to it, and to me, it makes for a very noticeable (and positive) enhancement.

PAGANLAND split up in 2005, but decided to give it another go in 2011. “Wind of Freedom” is ultimately the result. The opening track, “Wheel of Eternity” has no vocalizations and starts with what sounds to me like bagpipes. I like it. This eventually leads into “Shadows Of The Past”. This is a strange concoction of intense, yet serene, that you have to hear for yourself to truly understand. When the vocals kick in, they are both harsh growls and clean Folk-ish singing. (I prefer the latter as I do enjoy quite a bit of Folk style singing and music).

“Podolyanka” has a brief intro of a child singing. It is very sweet sounding and a nice touch, one of my favorite parts of the whole CD. “Fogs and Twilights” is a song that possesses a certain enchantment that makes it a standout, while the final number, “Wind of Freedom”, is outstanding enough to be my favorite. I really love the chanting-like vocals, as well as the heavy guitar riffs in the title track.

Also noteworthy are the realistic sound effects present in nearly every song. On “Shadows Of The Past”, we hear what sounds like the tranquil rush of a waterfall or river. On “Chornohora”, we hear a forceful and doubtlessly cold wind blowing. “Power of Spirit” begins with the sounds of battle: stamping horse hooves, thunder, the clash and clang of swords along with the shouts and cries of the warriors. You can almost envision the scene. These effects in no way detract from the heavy power of this album, but in fact serve as a compliment. PAGANLAND expressed the desire to share the band members love of nature and their native land in the lyrics and music of their songs. Anyone equipped with aesthetic virtue will be able to appreciate this.

As I stated before, I have never heard any prior releases and this is my first dose of PAGANLAND. However, I think it is safe to say that this album is a good indication that the band’s reformation was a good idea and they are back with a vengeance. I encourage anyone who is a fan of melodic Black Metal and Folk Metal music to check this out and go on a mystical journey with “Wind of Freedom” and PAGANLAND

3 Star Rating

1. Wheel of Eternity (intro)
2. Shadows of the Past
3. Power of Spirit
4. Chornohora
5. Podolyanka
6. Night Forest
7. Fogs and Twilights
8. Wind of Freedom
Volodymyr - Vocals
Ruen – Keyboards & Synth
Vladislav - Guitars
Stanislav - Bass
Yor – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Svarga Music


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