Label: Eagle SPV – Steamhammer
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Robert Kitay
As a huge Pagan’s Mind fan, this was my most anticipated release of 2015. Recorded live at ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2014, this Blu-Ray/CD or DVD/CD package includes over 2.5 hours of live music, including “Celestial Entrance” performed live in its entirety.
Having attended the performance recorded for this release live, I can tell you that this release captures the energy, intensity and magic or the performance beautifully. The show started off with “Celestial Entrance” played start to finish and the band nails it. The original studio recording included the late Thorstein Aaby as a second guitarist, and I originally had a concern as whether the album would sound as good with only a single guitar, but this was pulled off brilliantly. Jorn Viggo Lofstad is simply an amazing guitarist and the lack of rhythm guitar really wasn’t really noticeable. The second concern was how good Nils K. Rue’s vocals would be in a live setting, especially for such a long show. I must say that his vocals were amazing from start to finish, from all of the clean high notes to all of the low grunts, he showed why he is one of the best singers in music today. The other thing that was noticeable on the live recording vs the studio recordings is that Ronny Tegner’s keyboards are a little more prominent and upfront here, and that’s a good thing.
The second half of the recording is a “greatest hits” set, which included “New World Order,” “Intermission,” “Enigmatic Mission,” “Live Your Life Like a Dream,” and a smoking cover of David Bowie’s “Hallo Spaceboy” featuring Stian Kristoffersen drumming with glowing sticks. This was followed by a fantastic new instrumental called “Full Circle.” The band was then joined by Circus Maximus singer Michael Eriksen for “Walk Away in Silence” and “Eyes of Fire.” Although I am a big fan of Michael Eriksen, it takes a little getting used to hearing him sing these songs, but hearing Michael and Nils sing harmonies together is something you’ve got to hear. The show finishes out with “God’s Equation” and “United Alliance.”
It took over a year for the band to release this DVD, and one of the reasons they gave was that they weren’t particularly happy with some of the raw footage, and it required more time editing than they expected. Well they certainly did a great job editing because the video looks and sounds great. One of my major complaints with many DVDs coming out these days is that they move from camera shot to camera shot so quickly that it makes you dizzy. No problem with that here as the pacing is perfect. The audio and video are also perfectly synched, which is also a pet peeve of mine with many DVD releases, even from bands that have huge budgets. This DVD move smoothly throughout and is a pleasure to watch.
This is easily my favorite live DVD/Blu-ray of the year, and it is rare for me to put a live CD in my year’s top ten releases, but this one easily earns a spot on that list as well.
Disc 1: Approaching – Through Osiris’ Eyes – Entrance Stargate – …Of Epic Questions – Dimensions Of Fire – Dreamscape Lucidity – The Seven Sacred Promises – Back To The Magic Of Childhood: I. Conception – Back To The Magic Of Childhood: II. Exploring Life – In Brilliant White Light – Aegean Shores – The Prophecy Of Pleiades
Disc 2: New World Order – Intermission – Enigmatic Mission – Live Your Life Like A Dream – Hallo Spaceboy – Full Circle – Walk Away In Silence – Eyes Of Fire – God’s Equation – United Alliance
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