Monday, August 1, 2011

Pagan Altar - Lords of Hypocrisy

Skirting the doomier edges of the NWOBHM, Pagan Altar played a stoic, dead-serious brand of heavy metal drawing influence from the first Black Sabbath album's graveyard shuffle and Paranoid's war-pig politicism, while delving further into the realm of mystic lyricism. Right off the bat, the title track comes stomping out of Stonehenge decrying the evils of war and greed, immediately followed by the doomsaying "Satan's Henchmen," arguably another war parable. This relentless pace eases up a bit as the album progresses - the b-side is more expansive and subdued, but the closing number fulfills the promise of Armageddon. Terry Jones's instantly recognizable, haunted vocals are another huge draw here - full of fear and anger and sadness, they really elevate the album above the legions of bands playing in this style today. Alas, the man will probably never be spoken of in the same reverent tones as your Ozzys or your Dios (or Halfords, Dickinsons, etc.) but in my mind he really is in their league as a frontman.
Strangely, Pagan Altar never managed to release a proper album during their initial run as a band, but a late-nineties reunion managed to produce a stellar crop of albums, of which this is the second. The gods of doom may move slowly, but sometimes they reward the faithful.
Death will come to even the righteous
Only the good die young


  1. Love this album. Great, great and sadly overlooked band here.

  2. What a great band. They played a show here in December but unfortunately I ended up leaving early because it was late and I'd been up since five that morning for work and they played pretty much their entire catalogue. They were going to end their set with Volume One in its entirety, but I just couldn't hack it.

  3. I have a live set from Helsinki that's similar. It's almost two hours and the beginning and ending are both truncated - the actual set seems much longer. Maybe I'll post it soon....


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