quinta-feira, agosto 02, 2007

Pagan Altar - Volume 1 (1982)

If I were to just say they are Sabbathy heavy metal I might give the impression that they are just another proto-stoner band like Witchfinder General, but that's not quite right at all. Imagine a band heavily influenced by the riff-stylings, songwriting/arrangement, and magical/occult imagery of Sabbath, but completely without all of the psychedelic and drug influence. They don't tune down, so the doomy rumbling sound isn't there, and the songs don't go for heaviness so much as...'otherworld-liness', maybe? From what I gathered from the band's website this album is thematic and is focused on occult themes, and the music manages to grab that atmosphere of unreality and the terror a person feels when faced with something forbidden (I guess I'm thinking of Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown" where the good puritan guy goes into the woods and finds his whole town in an occult orgy...).

The music on this album seems timeless, in a way. The music is very faithful to the OLD style of heavy metal like early Sabbath and Priest, both in the riffs/arrangements and the way the bass and drums play off the guitar work. The vocals also seem very 'vintage' - frontman Terry Jones is definitely NOT a 'metal' singer, with his very high, thin vocals that actually call to mind OLD occult/rock acts like Black Widow or early Pentagram - he sounds much more 'rock' than metal in his timbre, but the vocal melodies he weaves into the songs just fit perfectly. The production helps reinforce that 'timeless' sound (though I doubt it was deliberate - this was 1982, after all...) - it's a bit brittle, like slightly overdriven analog recording equipment, with gritty but slightly thin guitars, a big, fat bass sound, and clean-but-dry drums like on the first couple of Priest albums. You could have told me this came out in 1972 and I'd believe it.
(Vic, Metal Archives)

Download: http://lix.in/722f74

5 comentários:

Richard disse...

Makes a nice change to find some overtly pagan music that's not all fluffy and twee...

Blessed Be

R

Anônimo disse...

Simply one one of the greatest "unheard" metal albums ever!

It's one of the few albums that feel like you're taken on a long journey & back to earth....you check the tracklist & it's only on the 3rd song!

life changing stuff, doomy but their own character

Thanks for sharing

Anônimo disse...

this band should have made the big time . thank you for making it available

The Hounds Of Doom disse...

Obrigada, meu irmao, finalmente vou poder ouvir o Vol1 de Pagan Altar. Ja comprei o Mythical & Magical, e estou a espera de receber o Lords of Hypocrisy. Só me faltava mesmo conhecer este...

Pagan Altar are without a doubt my favourite band ever, and that includes Black Sabbath, Led Zep and Pentagram...I don't care how many millions of records the other sold.
All I know is that no other bands make my hair stand up on the back of my neck like they do.

Thomas Bonnin disse...

thanks for sharing!