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Paganus : Paganus

I have delayed writing this review for a long time. Paganus isn't an animal easy to tame; at first, you're sure it is average Sludge Doom, but two listens are enough to convince you that there is more to find in this first album. When the third spin is over, you jump on your chair. "This is great!" is the only eructation that can then come out of your mouth.

Indeed, Paganus succeeds where many others fail. Their Sludge Doom is haunted. That's the word. There are ghosts wandering around in their dark atmospheric melodies. This isn't as filthy as Grief or Toadliquor. Paganus composes another type of odes, that sound as if they came right from the rough tormented seas that our fantasy locates somewhere in the dark territories evoked by the mighty legends of dead sailors and wrecked ships. Their Sludge is watery more than...sludgy! It is cold, moist and hypnotic. The rhythm is slow and relentless. Two voices mate together, one raspy growl, and one more high pitched shout; mixed with some blurred ambient waves and thundering guitars, they push their way through the slimy water directly to the spot in your brain where all the images of drown corpses, gigantic kraken and Poe’s Maelström whirl together. The effect is stimulating.

The four songs are rich, full of breaks, of crushing riffs and moody almost funerary dirges. The voice can get lost in the distance, disappearing in a fading echo. Then, from the gray mist come droning waves, pounding drums.... always, when you think you get the point, or more exactly, just before, Paganus takes another direction: threatening invocations turn in acid leads, atonal narratives transform in climactic grunting vociferations, squeeking riffs in lounging post-rockish textures. Strange. And totally convincing.

Considering this is a first album, I can only recommend you to keep an eye on the up-coming works of those guys. This is rather unique.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Paganus
2. Skullsplitter
3. Blood Soaked Boots
4. Stab

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes.

Visit the Paganus bandpage.

Reviewed on 07-07-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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