CD REVIEW Pagan Altar

Band: Pagan Altar
Title: The Time Lord
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music - Shadow Kingdom Records
Distribution: Suburban - Bertus
Release date: 11/09/2012
Review: Compilation-CD (re-release)

For those who have not this material yet: The Time Lord is a (highly recommendable) compilation. Main reason: it deals with previously unreleased material from the end of the seventies (!), and not ‘just some stuff’ from ‘back then’. The material was recorded in 1978 and 1979 and originally released on tape, then re-released on vinyl, through I Hate Records and, somewhat later, by Buried By Time And Dust Records, and now, re-mastered and with new cover artwork, re-issued again, this time by Shadow Kingdom and Cruz Del Sur on CD. In mean time the band released three full lengths and a couple of splits (with Jex Thoth and Mirror Of Deception) – FYI.

The compilation opens with two tracks that were originally recorded in 1978 in London, UK. These tracks, “Highway Cavalier” (the shortest track) and “The Time Lord”, combine rather typical Seventies Rock with a Black Sabbath – meet – Steppenwolf-vibe, somewhat psychedelic (especially the title song), catchy and good-feel rockin’. Both tracks are slightly monotone (especially the rhythmic guitar riffs) yet with interesting leads and Terry Jones’ unique vocals, clean and melodic but, at the same time raw and guttural-sore.
The three other tracks were recorded at the band’s home studio during 1978 and 1979 and introduced their typifying Doom-approach. The band’s appreciation for Black Sabbath is much more prominent here – listen to “Judgement Of The Dead” (what a fabulous bass lines by Trevor Portch, and what a simple yet spine-chilling guitar solo) and you’ll understand what I mean. However, Pagan Altar were / are not one of the many ‘evident’ Sabbath-clones around (even though they certainly do not hide their love for Mister Osbourne and Iommi at all). Their ‘Traditional Doom’ sort of has an own approach, plain, elementary, uncomplicated, yet thrilling and catching.

Later this year, Pagan Altar will release their newest studio full length, which will be called Never Quite Dead probably, so look out…

--/100

Ivan Tibos.

Band: Pagan Altar
Title: Judgement Of The Dead
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music - Shadow Kingdom Music
Distribution: Sonic Rendezvous
Release date: 28/09/2012 (CDSM, on CD) / 08/01/2013 (SKR, on LP)
Review: CD (re-release)

Pagan Altar were formed in the UK at the end of the seventies, and in early 1982 they did record material for a debut at their home studio.
Things went silent…
February 1998, finally, hurray! Oracle Records release the stuff, entitled Volume 1.
Things went silent again…
Reformation in 2004, now for real! New stuff recorded and released, and Volume 1 re-released, first through Black Widow Records (on vinyl, retitled as Judgement Of The Dead, and including bonus-song) in 2005, followed by another vinyl-re-release in 2010 (Buried By Time And Dust), and now again in a re-mastered edition by the band’s current label, Cruz Del Sur Music, in co-operation with Shadow Kingdom Records. Why? Don’t ask me why… I guess to promote the upcoming new album (or to mask the delay of that new one, Never Quite Dead, which should be out in mean time, yet that isn’t the case…).
Very recently, release of the compilation The Time Lord. See elsewhere in this review section…
Does not matter…
Dated yet timeless, essential and basic.

Recommended in case you do not have this stuff, but most of it did appear on the higher mentioned compilation as well (even though in another version, not in this final edition), but if you’re into good old-fashioned sabbathesque Doom / Heavy Metal etc…

--/100

Ivan Tibos.