French pagan black metal band Pagan Blood from Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes returns with its second full-length album. Pagan Blood is the personal project of Julien (previously on Heathen Dawn and Hoarfen) and they were formed in 2007. After the demo “Bellum Gallicum” in 2008, the band released its debut album “The Last Empire” in 2009 via Ewiges Eis Records. Now, 4 years later, they are back with their new work entitled “Lords of the Seas“, released by Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions.
There are no big differences in ”The Last Empire“, compared to its predecessor, at least in music style, since the production is improved for sure. Pagan Blood continue in their characteristic mid tempo epic pagan black metal style, based solely on guitars and vocals. There is a never ending variety in the riffs and many great melodies in the lead guitars, while their sound is now much more powerful. Their music changes from epic melodic, to more brutal and aggressive and the rhythm from mid to fast tempo, but still everything sounds very solid and well connected! Julien uses only black metal vocals and his voice fits perfectly to the band’s epic sound. The album lasts for almost 46 minutes, including 7 long compositions and it closes with the 10-minutes saga “The Ride to Valhalla“. Despite the typical and somehow monotonous approach, their music never gets repetitive or boring, thanks to their wonderful guitar lines and the great quality of the compositions. The more I listen to this album, the more I get into its atmosphere. Their lyrics deal with pagan themes, battles and Viking mythology, but unluckily they are absent from the booklet.
Pagan Blood have returned with a very good album that will satisfy their fans and most probably all pagan black metal fans and especially those who prefer a more underground approach in the genre. “The Last Empire” has a raw, yet powerful and well produced sound and it comes in a standard jewel-case edition, with a 4-page black and white booklet, while the cover artwork is drawn by H.W. Koekkoek. The CD is released by Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions and you can visit the band’s MySpace profile for sound samples.
Pagan Blood @ MySpace