Review: Paganland – Fatherland

Posted: July 18, 2015 in Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Paganland - Fatherland

Paganland are one of Ukraine’s oldest pagan metal bands, and their sophomore record ‘Fatherland’ is dedicated to Ukrainian patriots fighting against Russian aggression; sadly a situation which seems to have dropped off the world’s news radar. Let’s see how their heathen and witchcraft inspired black metal does as a tribute to those at war.

‘The Dawn of a New Era’ brings us out with a vast, grandiose keyboard swell, before a rousing folk metal riff appears and a clean, rich vocal leads us on. Paganland’s music is filled with passion and uplifting moments. Take the vast melodies of ‘The Voice of the Carpathians’, which feels evocative of frozen, misty mountains full of mystery and wonder. Even when it adopts a more savage black metal blasting and rasping vocals, the keyboards fill the songs with a sense of the huge. The clean vocals add an esoteric vibe, and while are probably a matter of taste more than anything, do complement the music well here.

‘Through the Winter Coldness’ should be held up to every pagan metal band out there with a notice underneath stating ‘this is how you do epic, cinematic folk metal’. The sense of scale is massive, and rarely does music sound so epic while still retaining those ‘extreme’ moments. Paganland aren’t really black metal, they have those elements mixed in but their main aim seems to be as epic as possible. ‘Fatherland’ is full of these soaring moments, music bursting from the instruments and weaving a skyful of stunning aural delights. The urgent ‘Native Word! Shackled Eagle!’ is a particular favourite, but I could point to the lush keyboards of ‘Stellar Path’ or the all encompassing title track as moments that will stand out to anyone who is a fan of well constructed, grandiose heavy metal gestures

  1. […] ‘Galizier’, the fourth album from Ukrainian black metallers Paganland follows four years later from their previous work, ‘From Carpathian Land’, and while the subject matter may appear controversial (it is dedicated to an SS Waffen division that fought against the Communists in the Second World War), stylistically it pays a melodic tribute to the finest and oldest forms of Slavic black metal. It is out at the end of the month. I also reviewed their older release, ‘Fatherland’, here. […]

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