Thursday, April 21

Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy

Pagan's Mind
Heavenly Ecstasy


Let's begin with an excerpt of dialogue from Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight":

Alfred Pennyworth: Know your limits, Master Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: Batman has no limits.
Alfred Pennyworth: Well, you do, sir.
Bruce Wayne: Well, can't afford to know 'em.

I'll shock the comic book-fans by saying this, but Batman doesn't know what he's talking about. There is nothing wrong, and a whole lot right, with knowing your limits; and Pagan's Mind anno 2011 are living proof of that. The scope of their previous highlights "Celestial Entrance" and "Enigmatic: Calling" may have been boundless, but as musicians they can only push themselves so far, which resulted in 2008's little identity crisis "God's Equation". Time to refocus and apply their strength and talent in a different way, time for "Heavenly Ecstasy".

Prog-heads be warned: power leads the charge here as Pagan's Mind introduces their token heavy- and spaceyness in a more straightforward and accessible environment. Don't worry though, the new songs can still kick your ass up from the ground and let you soar among the stars. The instrumentation hasn't suffered in terms of complexity, but the crunchy guitars and exciting keyboards serve the purpose of immediately grabbing your attention and never letting go, instead of the difficult-to-get-into philosophical meandering of before.

Despite this change in approach, the album never becomes formulaic and mixes things up in all the right places. More traditional tracks like the blistering opener "Eyes Of Fire" and the online single "Intermission" are interspersed with faster material like the ecstatic "Into The Aftermath" and the agressive "The Master's Voice". There's even room for the epic "Revelation To The End" and the moody closer "Never Walk Alone". Diversity in abundance, and everything's as addictive as something you would get easily addicted to.

A change of sound is never an easy process for neither band nor audience, but I respect a band that knows the degree of its capacity and adjusts accordingly, without necessarily aiming lower. Their newfound path refreshens everything I love about Pagan's Mind and "Heavenly Ecstasy" deserves an equal place in the galaxy as its predecessors.


Arno Callens' rating: 4.0 out of 5

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