PAGAN ALTAR - LORDS OF HYPOCRISY (Cruz Del Sur/Sonic Rendezvous)


Pagan Altar is a band with tradition. Old school Metal heads should know this formation, because after all they were formed somewhere in the Seventies, to release their very first album in 1982. It took a few decades to deliver the follow-up album but the tradition stayed and even though the big silence the name of Pagan Altar has always been there, like a spirit, an evil ghost. It was a name that rang as a bell…

In 2004 “Lords of Hypocrisy” was released but Cruz Del Sur decided to re-release it, with a refreshed sound. It works, although the overall sound of this album still doesn’t hide this is an early Eighties Metal band. Also musical wise this band breathes everything tradition is all about and this music lies very close to the cradle of our favorite music genre. Old Black Sabbath is always close although Pagan Altar chose moments to be even more atmospheric. In “Armageddon” for example, the highlight of this record, even an old Pink Floyd is nearby. Superb track with first class impressive guitars and cold shivering vocals.

Pagan Altar delivers first class Doom Metal / traditional Metal with outstanding arrangements, tempo changes and ditto guitars. The bit nasal vocals of Terry Jones fits the music perfectly and are giving this kind of Metal that extra obscure touch. So does the leads, which seem to be very important for this CD. Constantly Pagan Altar is playing on a low tempo but thanks to lots of breaks it excites the listener. With tracks like “Satan’s Henchmen”, “Armageddon” and “March Of The Dead” it’s not that difficult to understand where the lyrics are all about. One blink of the eye on the front cover makes clear what this listener can expect and the photo of a ruined church, a haunted place they say, gives the perfect impression. This CD opens a tomb stone in which the forefathers of Heavy Metal were buried by moneymakers and posers, so these forefathers can bewitch you with their fantastic ancient tunes, to make you imagine the dark sides of this world...

This old sounding Metal still deserves its place in our movement. Although the original recordings are dated between 1978 and 1983 they still stand strong. This is old school NWOBHM, a genre that re-lives. So yes, also the youth needs to respect this band, needs to purchase this kind of releases to add it to their collection. Pick the right time to discover this one, be open minded and Pagan Altar will surely touch your soul. 

This is the kind of Metal in which every single instrument plays its role, together they deliver that depressing feeling that made Heavy Metal so irresistible so many years ago. The scène suffered lots of changes, good ones and bad ones but Pagan Altar is, as I’ve said before, a band with tradition and deserves all respect for it.

My Points: 86 / 100