Paganland - From Carpathian Land
Svarga Music
Atmospheric Black Metal
7 songs (37'08")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex

I have a little bit of trouble classifying Ukrainian Paganland From Carpathian Land as a wholly new release. Many of the tracks come from the recent EP and single, but there is a very old track Black Mountain from 2013 album Wind of Freedom. So, technically speaking, only the title track and both intro and outro are compositions that heretofore have not seen the light of day. Yet, since I have not heard any of those EPs or singles which preceded From Carpathian Land I can easily consider the album a new release as I far as I am concerned personally.

The opening intro Stozhary is the combination of atmospheric synthesizer and acoustic guitars, reflecting both pain and beauty, thus perfectly describing Ukraine, the country I was born in. Especially given recent events, where pain is overwhelming … From there, beginning with At the Heart of Carpathians Paganland does little to deviate from their earlier established style of atmospheric black metal, Ukrainian school. The fans of Drudkh and Munruthel will recognize this art and probably will enjoy it. Straight arrow blasts, riffs which never forget to flow melodically, expansive penetrating keyboards and pained vocals – the pattern is familiar, Paganland have done nothing here to remove themselves from the crowd, but I still enjoyed From Carpathian Land, and imbibed it in one breath. Mist rolls down to open Black Mountain, and heroic epic tune after that makes you stand and pump your arms, or do whatever it is that you do when sense of pride overwhelms. Dreamy inserts or two, colyadas in At the Heart of Carpathians and the title track, also an epic and dense affair, Gutsul flute and melodies won’t let us forget, however, about Western Ukraine origin of Paganland, and that is a good thing. The Gloom is searching, brooding and has a beautiful guitar solo. Outro Chuhayster and Belted by Spirit are more about mystery and fairy tale, Belted by Spirit having an almost happy sounding main riff, not entirely what you would expect given the lyrics (the whole album is sung in Ukrainian as best as I can hear, and that is fantastic).

From Carpathian Land is the case of meeting expectations, not exceeding them. The contents are exactly what the book cover is promising. Sometimes that is all that is needed.

Killing Songs :
All are equally good, if you are a fan of the style
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Paganland that we have reviewed:
Paganland - Wind of Freedom reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
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