Pagan Altar-The time lord
Cruz Del Sur/Shadow Kingdom
This is a re-issue of a release that originally came out in 2004, but the material goes back much further than that as two of these songs were recorded in 1978 and the other three were done in late 1980 or early 1981. This band gets thrown in with the NWOBHM scene. That's well enough due to the time and place they came from, but Pagan Altar were initially into early 70's proto-metal and then early doom. "Highway Cavalier" has a massive yet amazingly simple approach as it launches on sounding like Steppenwolf colliding with very early Motorhead. "The time lord" has the band following more of a winding path not far off from early Judas Priest as they stretch out the passages and the punchy rhythm section sets the pace. The sound still reflects a style that was done a number of years before this was recorded. However they do it justice and serve it up fresh. After this the next three tracks have the band settling into the doom sound that they were most known for. "Judgement of the dead" is a dark march that stays along one main tempo but the thumping bass and swirling guitar notes add depth to it. "The black mass" takes a few pages from early Black Sabbath's playbook, but Pagan Altar take it, twist and make it theirs. This song has a spontaneous feel to it like they were knocking out for the first time. Closing out the album is "Reincarnation" which is the longest most complex track offered up here. They step up the pace a notch and ride with it. Again they stick with a raw feel and excel at it. Pagan Altar created a powerful chapter in the book of doom metal, but they don't always get the notice they deserved. This re-issue has a different cover from the previous release. Even though I have heard some of these tracks before I was again in awe at how good this band could be.