Year of release: 2004 / 2019 (this version)
Released by: Temple of Mystery Records
Rating: 8,7 / 10
Quite unexpectedly, I stumbled upon the traditional Heavy Doom Metal album, which I just can't get past, getting rid of the duty with a short note in the Blitz reviews section. I knew that PAGAN ALTAR is a great band in its line, but I didn’t know HOW great it is. I’m not at all a fan of this style, so not a fan that I don’t like even BLACK SABBATH ... however, “Lords of Hypocrisy” hit me from the first notes.
Even before the music I was struck by the sound of the album, indecently old school for the record, released in year 2004. As it turned out, the album was recorded in the period 1982-1984, but then it was re-recorded, and it happened, as I understand it, in the early 2000s. Nevertheless, while listening to it, you never have any doubt that this is a record from the 80s, so much so that it is analog, warm, vintage, and so on. Beauty. Next, about the music. At first glance (as the second, and all subsequent ones), there is nothing extraordinary in it. The traditional heavy doom, the kind of Shadow Kingdom Records releases in dozens every year. Composed following the old commercial rules - a bunch of real metal tracks, a couple of slower ones, plus one proper ballad. But it touches you - and nothing can be done about it. All the riffs and melodic constructions are performed at an incredibly high level, and even my fastidious ear (especially when it comes to the slow material) did not notice any falsity and filler moments here. Slow pieces are very similar to those of IRON MAIDEN, but this, of course, is part of this style of music. Ample guitar solos are fabulous. The vocals are also good - it could be better, but you can't ask for so much really. I am thankful enough for the fact that this is not some kind of fucking degraded weed-smoking hippy falsetto. The songs are generally well balanced between accesibility and sapidity; there is something to listen to on the album, and more than once.
In short, “Lords of Hypocrisy” is simply beautiful. Perhaps this is the best thing I've ever heard in Heavy Doom Metal. The review is timed to a fresh reissue from Temple of Mystery Records, managed by Francois Patry and Annick Giroud from CAUCHEMAR. Obviously, this delightfully juicy woman can not only cook well, but also select good albums for publishing. The release of Temple of Mystery contains a new design (good decision, because the old was miserable) and remastering. For some reason, it is not presented on YouTube and Bandcamp, so I attach a frame with the old version: