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Heavenly Ecstacy

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Album Review

For many headbangers, black metal is the first thing that comes to mind when Norway is mentioned. That is understandable; many of the top black metal bands have come from Norway. But not all Norwegian metal bands play black metal or even blackened death metal; a case in point is Pagan's Mind, who have been favoring a melodic progressive metal/power metal recipe since their formation back in 2000. Some longtime followers feel that Pagan's Mind have toned down the prog elements in their music, but there is still plenty of prog action on their fifth album, Heavenly Ecstasy. And there is still plenty of ‘80s worship coming from these Scandinavians, whose influences continue to include Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, and Judas Priest. The '80s were a time in which metal bands went for a lot of bigness: big melodies, big hooks, big production, big riffs. That fact obviously isn't lost on Pagan's Mind, who bring plenty of '80s-like bigness to "Walk Away in Silence," "Eyes of Fire," and other songs on Heavenly Ecstasy. Pagan's Mind have grown a bit heavier over time, but they have also become hookier — and there are plenty of hooks and melodies on this 2011 release that are an unapologetic throwback to the grandiose, larger than life approach that so many metal bands favored back in the '80s. A few of the riffs on Heavenly Ecstasy have a bit of alternative metal chug, but all things considered, this is a very '80s-obsessed album. And the fact that Pagan's Mind have become somewhat heavier doesn't mean that they have sacrificed anything melodically; people who like their metal on the nuanced side will be glad to know that there is nuance galore on this 55-minute CD. Pagan's Mind clearly think of intricacy and songcraft as high priorities, and that outlook serves the Norwegian prog/power metallers well throughout Heavenly Ecstasy.

Customer Reviews

date is wrong

this was released may 20th 2011, not may 30th 2007


Heavenly Ecstacy is Pagan's Mind's best album since Celestial Entrance. It blows their previous two albums away. With Heavenly Ecstacy, PM gets back to that certain magic in their sound, the sound that made Celestial Entrance so amazing and then went awol on their next two releases. Whereas Enigmatic: Calling and God's Equation were bogged down in an angry, anti-melodic
quagmire that stifled the true spirit of the band, Heavenly Ecstacy gets back to the open, melodic phrasing that makes their music soar through the heart. These guys are geniuses at weaving together prog and traditional rock sounds. They are quite an amazing band; there's nobody out there like them.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Specializing in progressive power metal, Skien, Norway's Pagan's Mind was formed by core members Nils K. Rue (vocals), Stian Kristoffersen (drums) and guitarist Thorstein Aaby in 2000. Eventually rounding out to a five-piece, the band released its first album, Infinity Divine, that same year. The album was a success critically and in the prog/power metal underground, and was followed by the Fredrik Nordström produced second album, Celestial Entrance. The follow up was an even bigger success, making...
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Heavenly Ecstacy, Pagan's Mind
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