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The Pagan Prosperity - 50%

Lars_Stian, October 20th, 2017

"The Pagan Prosperity" starts very well, with the song "The Millenium King", and met all expectations. There's riff after riff, each as great as the last. The guitars tremolo pick great melodies, that are accompanied by well written synth that establishes a great, wintry atmosphere. It's very progressive; tempos change all the time, and there certainly isn't a lack of melodies. It slows down towards the middle with a synth led melody, after which a majestic and very nice guitar solo is presented. By the end of the song, you come to expect more greatness, and why shouldn't you? Sadly, the greatness ends with this song.

By the end of the album, it seems quite obvious that "The Millenium King" was the only point of the album, as the rest sounds like meaningless filler. The riffs are just dull, and reek of amateurism. It's the kind of riffs you'd make when you've just barely learned to play the guitar. It almost feels like listening to 35 minutes of different kind of guitar scales, each melody is predictable and offensively inoffensive. The guitar riffs are pretty much just some palm muted power chords that are forgettable and virtually indistinguishable from one another. When the album was over, I could barely remember anything of what I'd heard (apart from the first track).

The production on the album is fine, and it didn't really stand out or warrant any reaction; it is fair, the sound is clear, though it does not feel overly polished. The guitar tone is good, I guess, it is quite distorted, but not too much. The bass is somewhat audible, but as far as I'm concerned, the bass doesn't really add anything anyway. I do like the sound of the drums, and the drumming is arguably the only aspect of this album that stays good throughout. The snare sounds really good, as it sounds very powerful and has that "oomph" needed for such music. The playing is varied and well written, and plays according to the melodies.

The vocals are okay. The higher shrieks are quite good. Though they share the characteristics of most black metal vocals, they do sound powerful and raw, which makes them quite good. The lower growls, however, aren't as good. They sound a bit forced, and lack energy and passion. There's some clean vocals on the first track (perhaps on the others as well, but they're so dull I can't remember). I wouldn't described them as more than "fair". He does hit the notes, though they sound a bit awkward, as he tries to make his voice lower and deeper than it actually seems to be.

In conclusion, "The Millenium King" is the only good aspect of this album. Give it a listen, and ignore the rest.