Overall Score: 6/10 Riffs: 6/10 lyrics: 5/10 Originality: 5/10 Pros: Danceable rock n roll swagger Cons: Random bursts of "my first blast beat".
When you think of Australia you don’t usually think of black metal, it’s like going to Nigel Farage’s house an expecting the greatest hits of Eurovision to be on the stereo. Blackened Rock N Roll combo Pagan seem to be putting that to show with their new album “Black Wash” which excels best when it’s not being influenced by Black Metal.
The strange out of nowhere blasts of blast beats fail to jell with the swaggering Punk N Roll vibe that seems to be the band’s bread and butter. When the album clicks with its 4/4 Turbonegro esque riffs it can be quite dancey and brings a sense of energy to the release. Death Before Disco is the perfect example of this and could present the band an excellent template of where to head going forward if they were to forgo the blasts of double kick drums.
Front woman Nikki Brumen provides an interesting presence, not to dissimilar to Karina Ljone’s erratic vocal stylings on last year’s Blood Command album. Her performance is truly the highlight of the album giving each song its own unique flavour and delivery.
Though they may be billed as Blackened Rock N Roll there is more that that to their game, when the frosty blasts of black metal settle there is a quirky nature to the album, not too dissimilar to Marmozets more basic work or the aforementioned Blood Command.
In short this is an album of great ideas but with not all the edges smoothed out, but there is certainly potential for Pagan to do something quite interesting. If you like the sound of the bastard love child of Turbonegro, Marmozets and Blood Command with a touch of Damnation Festival thrown in there you could do a lot worse than give Black Wash a spin.
Pagan’s Black Wash is released on the 6th of July through Hassle Records.