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Fir Bolg - Paganism - 65%

ThrashManiacAYD, August 20th, 2010

Another French BM outfit to review, however Fir Bolg are unlike Deathspell Omega, Antaeus, Hell Militia and their type; the vitriolic and punishing French BM sound is here replaced by a much more Scandinavian tempo with no small subtle hint of Germany's blackened thrashers Desaster in the grim yet accessible sound Dagoth has got going on in his one-man project. "Paganism", the entity's debut originally released back in 2008 (here remastered by Schwarzdom Records) is just a four-song demo but in its 23 minutes it has made quite an impression on me. "Night Of The Black Moon" opens with a wonderfully under-produced Windir-ian sound in one of the most authentic BM tones I've heard from such a small release in ages. The pagan aspect evident in title, band/(man) shot and lyrics (so I'm told) is kept relatively minor in the piece, marking it's prominence with momentary bursts of acoustic folky strumming, much more in the vein of Primordial's style of 'folk' than an Alestorm one. Amateur they may be in integration but in feeling not at all and for precisely this reason I find myself a fan of "Night Of The Black Moon".

"Celtic Death Pagan Ritual" ups the Desaster-ante significantly, suggesting it would fit perfectly on the great "Tyrants of the Netherworld", yet still maintains a strong stylistic similarity to the opener. "Invocate The Old Spirits Of Woods" then begins to sound all Immortal-ic in the nature of Dagoth's riffs and vocals (no insult at all in my books) before "The Passage To A Second Life" closes the demo as the weakest track even with the nice Scandinavian vibe it possesses in bucketloads. For a four-track demo "Paganism" has an excellent feel to it and the beginnings of an identity, which if persisted with, could become something worthy on future releases as it sits nicely between the sounds of a few other noteworthy bands. "Paganism", I raise my drinking horn to you.

Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net