Pagan Altar, Litany and more at Underworld Club (2008)

Underworld Club (Athens, Greece)

Pagan Altar, Litany, Sorrows Path
The truth is that my feelings were complex for that night. Yes, I know PAGAN […]
By Yiannis Doukas
May 17, 2008

The truth is that my feelings were complex for that night. Yes, I know PAGAN ALTAR have a cult name in the obscure realms of Metal music but this is not something that can guarantee anything. I have seen many resurrected bands that are coming in the surface of the earth having nothing more than this cult air behind, and what had been left after their gigs was only that. Well, that night things turned to be really different.

When I entered the Underworld Club the first band had began its set. SORROWS PATH seems to like the SOLITUDE AETURNUS kind of Doom music together with CANDLEMASS. Nothing special for my ears, the riffing was typical but some of their new ideas were not bad. Their forthcoming album will be released via Eat Metal Records, so if you are curious to hear some Greek Doom music have your eyes open.

The next band was the Greek Doom label mates LITANY. This was the second time I witnessed a gig of them but I am afraid my disappointment was bigger than the previous one. The vocals were really embarrassing, plus the band's live presentation completely soul-less. It was something like seeing a typical practice in a rehearsal room and nothing more. Their 7 wasn't bad but like the previous band complete my thoughts about the Doom scene in this country. Except the VIOLET VORTEX and the OMINOUS SKY bands, the rest looks like in most gentle words a bad replica of the famous foreign groups. Anyway, they will also release their forthcoming album and I hope it will be better.

The time had come. English Doom meets NWOBHM meets Hard Rock, while there is a phantom of BLACK WIDOW above the guys that hit the stage with - what else? - the self-titled track. Terry Jones calls the demon and Alan starts by releasing the violet drape that his guitar explodes. Two things came to mind. First one, where are their candles and their robes? After a few minutes nothing seems to matters to me. Pagan Altar's live presentation looks better to my ears than the studio version, and my adrenaline hits maximum levels. The Demons Of The Night were out and they wanted to hunt your souls and after that the second album's self-titled track brought peace to my soul. The Sentinels Of Hate is next and Cry Of The Banshee gave life to some scary images from Arthur Mahen's imagination. I was feeling like I was somewhere out in a forest and although everything looked so calm I had the suspicion that something evil was behind. This song together with Dance Of The Druids and Witches Pathway have a magic inside, this feel that was present when you listened for first time to a Heavy Metal record. That's the reason why I consider PAGAN ALTAR not just an old band that only the record collectors must listen to them. Their music recipe is coming from the basic source. The immortal one. The best moment of the concert - at least in my opinion - was Judgement Of The Dead and immediately after that In The Wake Of Armadeus. Well, what can I say, respect! The Armageddon was perfromed PERFECTLY and the main show ended with The Aftermath and Reincarnation, as it should be.

The band left the stage and as I was going to grab a beer and I thought hey, where is Black Mass? My thirst was satisfied with the blond liquid and my ears found the nirvana with the absolute song that they played. Yes, it was Black Mass. The band had not the best sound that could be, which is a common phenomenon for a gig in the Underworld, I know that nature didn't endowed Terry with the best voice in the world but on one hand he is perfect in what he's doing and - on the other hand - you don't need a sound when there is above the stage such a talent like Alan's guitar playing. The rest of the band was very good. Walker's playing was excellent, he is also in ISEN TORR and SOLSTICE, respect!, Harper ( also in SOLSTICE) seemed to enjoy the fact that he was the bass player for PAGAN ALTAR while Andy's playing gave a new freshness.

The band offered us another encore and the club transformed into something like a bat nest (after midnight it becomes a Gothic I will bite you club).

Very nice concert and I would like to thank the guys that brought such a band here.

PAGAN ALTAR setlist:

01. Pagan Altar
02. Demons Of The Night
03. Lords Of Hypocrisy
04. Sentinals Of Hate
05. Cry Of The Banshee
06. Judgement Of The Dead
07. In The Wake Of Armadeus
08. DAnce Of The Druids
09. Witches Pathway
10. March Of The Dead
11. Armageddon
12. The Aftermath
13. Reincarnation

14. Sharnie
15. Highway Cavalier
16. The Black Mass

17. Walking In The Dark

(photos by Yiannis Z)


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