Review: Paganland – Galizier

Posted: February 13, 2020 in Reviews
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Paganland - Galizier

‘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 the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) 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 through Blackest Records in Japan. I also reviewed their older release, ‘Fatherland’, here.

First off, let’s get this out of the way. This is not NSBM, despite the potential connotations of the subject matter. Having done some research into the matter, this is more about the Ukrainian struggle against the oppressions of Soviet Russia, and even current day pressures as well. Now, to the music. After the orchestral swell of the opener, first track proper ‘The Legionary’ launches full force into some prime, ice cold black metal riffing while an impassioned vocal performance switches between a snarl and some clean vocals. This retains the epic sweep that their previous work has had, lending ‘Galizier’ a grand purpose, and a more blackened folk metal tinge.

The tremendous soar of ‘In the Heart of Forever’ is truly special, while some wonderful keyboard melodies flow alongside the savagery of ‘Ideology’. Paganland’s work is more and more becoming pagan metal with black metal elements than the reverse, but how anyone can argue with the quality of cuts like ‘Galician Night’ is beyond me. ‘Galizier’ is a grandiose triumph, a passionate and fiery epic that will delight fans of their previous work, and new fans alike.

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