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Worship at the Altar - 100%

Sargon_The_Terrible, September 5th, 2007

Ah, the marvelous, unsung, unknown Pagan Altar, probably the best band in the UK. I was hoping it would not be another 20 years before we got a third album from them, and not only were my hopes fulfilled, but this album is way beyond even my expectations. Pagan Altar's third album is certainly my favorite, and likely their best, though all their works are so good picking 'best' is pretty much moot.

Pagan Altar are so retro, they make retro-wanna-be bands like Witchcraft and Wolfmother look like the modern posers they are. This is old-school metal in the vein of classic 70's icons like Sabbath - except Sabbath never made an album this good. Mythical & Magical features the best guitarwork you will ever hear, as Alan Jones just goes insane with blazing leads, headbanging riffs, and the best guitar tone ever. If rockers like "Cry Of The Banshee" can't get your head flailing, then you have a problem. This album gave me a cramp from trying to simultaneously air-guitar and throw the fucking horns for over an hour. This disc is folkier than Lords Of Hypocrisy and maybe a bit less heavy, but the songs are so good it's impossible to argue. The vocals of Terry Jones may again be a sticking point, as he reedily honks his way through the album, and again I have to say that his voice just fits this music perfectly, and is a major part of the retro charm of this great band.

Those addicted to aggression or married to castrati vocals may not get this at all, but if you love old, old, old-school metal, or if you love metal guitar in any way, shape or form, then this is an album you need to have. Now good fucking luck finding it, as Oracle is a label so small I'm not sure they really exist, but if you do run across this somewhere, don't pass it up for anything. Stellar.

Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com