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The cosmic journey has been delayed - 74%

BloodIronBeer, October 15th, 2007

Here is a highly anticipated album. Pagan's Mind fourth album God's Equation. With three stellar albums under their belt, realistically, I had to figure they couldn't keep up the genre defining power-progressive metal forever, and it just seemed to make sense that this was the album where they'd fall somewhere short.

For some reason I expected a slight change in sound. Maybe it was the David Bowie cover and ridiculous song titles. Alien Kamikaze? Atomic Firelight? Evolution Exceed; that doesn't even make sense. But don't judge a book by it's cover they say. Right, so let's get down to it.

The album opens with a spacey acoustic intro The Conception, just what you'd expect from this band. The title track is Pagan's Mind at their finest. Killer riffs, powerful vocals, combined with transcendental keyboard wrapped into a unique and epic package that grabs hold of you. The next few songs immediately ease out of that awesomeness. United Alliance has a couple weak riffs, but is otherwise still up to par. Atomic Firelight, despite the silly name is one of the better songs on this album. However, half the song is done with distortion on the vocals. The melody line in the chorus reminds me of a melody I've heard in Dream Theater songs, in the Scenes From a Memory Part 2 era. So despite being hard hitting and refreshing, it's not quite up to snuff either.

Next the album takes a turn for the worse. The David Bowie cover is very much out of place, and just goofy sounding. Evolution Exceed is a generic darker song which seems to retain some of the cheesy prog rock spaciness of the David Bowie song, with a chorus copy/pasted from another song.

Alien Kamikaze is the real nail in the coffin. Take an exceedingly weak and generic riffs with a simple lowbrow drum beat, add more crappy distorted vocals and you've got a song I truly would never have expected to appear on a Pagan's Mind album. Easily their worst song to date.

Past that point it's really a test of endurance. For the most part, even past the halfway point it's obvious that the band fell a good deal short on this effort. There is some seriously commercial sounding riffs, and the vocals get grating with all the effects. I'm not really sure what the band is thinking, but clearly they're trying for something a bit different, and my advice to them would be to stick to what they do best. Sure, bands should test new waters now and again, especially progressive bands, but this is sounding a bit radio friendly at times, and those are waters no one has any excuse to go near.

In the end, it’s a disappointment but it could have been a lot worse. It's still got it's strong points. And luckily, I can see them coming back from this failure. I'll still be checking out there next album ... this isn't a Nocturnal Rites kind of failure or anything.

I really hate to give a Pagan's Mind release a less-than-stellar rating, but come on, Alien Kamikaze? They were asking for it.