Heavenly Ecstasy is the fifth studio release from the Norwegian quintet known as Pagan’s Mind. The lineup has remained constant since formation in 2000 with only the loss of a guitarist. This stability of cast certainly instills the listener with some confidence of delivery. With the melodic metal cup already running over with countless likeminded bands, can these Norwegians deliver the goods?
They certainly deliver on the melodic metal front in an interesting way. The first three opening tracks “Contact”, “Eyes of Fire”, and “Intermission” are heavily laced with the melodic interludes. They have a real ethereal feel to them. The flow of the music coupled in with the keyboards builds a real sense of floating through space. Add into that mix Rue’s incredible vocals and the spaceship is complete. There is no denying that Rue has an incredible voice and his style of singing really adds layers to the music. Lofstad being the only guitarist does a really great job in keeping the riffs moving while adding his own flavour to the guitar solo’s. It is this combination of these factors that keeps things interesting.
These first three tracks give way to “Into The Aftermath” and that along with “The Master’s Voice” are the heaviest tracks on the release. They both have really nice opening riffs and rhythm. The keyboard work of Tegner really compliments the opening riffs, not to obvious but subtle enough to really build on the backbone. Into the Aftermath picks up some overly melodic vocals and keyboards in the middle that really diminish some of the punch. The style seemed to switch from nice and heavy to more orbital halfway through but all in all a good track. “The Master’s Voice” seems to follow the same recipe as “Into The Aftermath”. A good hard driving track that gets a little over galaxy sounding somewhere in the middle.
All in all, a good melodic outing for the Norwegians. The music is solid through the entire release. This may be overly melodic for traditional metal heads but don’t let that detract from the overall accomplishment. One certainly can’t claim that you can bang your head to this but it is an enjoyable listen nonetheless. The dueling guitars and keyboards are worth the listen alone, add in the bass lines and the listener is a given a great journey albeit one that floats through the never where of the universe. Overall a tight consistent release with some truly great music and vocals. At the root of it all, this is good music and good music deserves to be heard.