PAGAN'S MIND - Enigmatic: Calling

Pagan's Mind - Enigmatic: Calling

11 songs
65:36 minutes
***** ***


Somebody give these Norwegians a broader colour palette. Enigmatic: Calling is already the band's third album, and they still haven't managed to get past their blue phase. Luckily this doesn't count for the music which is much more polychromatic and also quite adventurous. Even though their debut Infinity Divine didn't overwhelm me, it was their second effort Celestial Entrance which left a lasting impression on me.

Enigmatic: Calling is not actually better, but is starting off where they ended last time. Meaning you get edgy power prog metal with a tendency toward thrash when it comes to the hard instrumentation, but with vocalist Nils K. Rue always taking care that the general mood stays on a more melodic side. This musical dichotomy could, if a worst case scenario came to happen, alienate the band from their potential fan bases, but they are subtle with their songwriting that they may well achieve a much broader audience with the wide spectrum of influences they use.

It's hard to come up with any highlights though, as most of the songs follow the same procedure. Apart from two short instrumentals (seemingly essential when we're talking about concept albums), most of the songs cross the seven minute border, never deigning to fall into simplistic schemes, but rather adding substance to their considerable compositional efforts, which results at times in hiding gorgeous melodies behind a clutter of progressive ingredients, but also challenges the listener to spend much time with the album to always discover new elements.

Enigmatic: Calling addresses rather the Dream Theater crowd than those who think that prog metal is melodic metal with longer songs. It's of course light years away from the first untoppable DT albums, but when it comes to contemporary melodic prog metal, you won't find many better bands than the Norwegians.

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