Pagan – Black Wash

Pagan’s long-awaited debut album is about to be released, and we wonder if the world’s ready for the electrifying power these four from Melbourne produce.

By Martin Frank

Some are calling it Black Metal, and it fits perfectly when you have a possessed banshee screaming out the lyrics. Because of this, Pagan are not for everyone – Nikki Brumen sounds like a cross between a crazed Suzie Q and Rush’s Geddy Lee with some early Marilyn Manson thrown in for good measure. Screaming every song is not completely necessary because the lyrics become lost, and the words unheard.

Having said that this album is fun, the music does exactly what you want it to do; it’s explosive, powerful, and even at times fills the room with chords to dance to in Hells disco. With Xavier Santilli on lead, Dan Bonnici on bass and Matt Marasco on drums, these guys are on form all the way through, masterfully commanding the tracks behind Nikki’s vocals.

Black Wash is filled with truly awesome tracks Death before disco is devilishly heavy with Matt’s drums crashing through the tune making your head nod, Nikki’s cries are not so much vocals because her words are a lost voice crying out in the storm created by the band. Yet together it somehow works. Imitate me Is again a clever track, it has punk patches and a dance theme all within the Pagan crescendo that will have crowds of fans jumping in the mosh pit, and dancing in the wings.

There are so many great tracks here that get better and better after listening, Blood Moon is heavy and hard, Year of the Dog and The Greatest Love Songs have others in the band harmonising and sharing the vocals and gives us a break from Nikki’s screaming, which after a few tracks starts getting irritating. We’re positive that the lyrics are good, you just don’t get chance to hear them. Marilyn Manson stepped away from the screaming revealing interesting and exciting lyrics, and Pagan’s songs are the same. We would scream along with them if we knew what to scream!

Wine and Lace towards the end of the album is incredible – an atomic bomb of a track that explodes in your face and leaves you for dead. It’s great, and just the sort of thing to boost your energy and make you want to join in with their Pagan lifestyle.

Pagan are a coming storm so be warned, batten down the hatches and lock all the doors, you can either hide in the cellar and under the bed or wear your big boots, favourite torn t-shirt and jeans and go out and face it. Sure, you should be able to hear more of Nikki’s vocals, but when the storm comes we’ll be there ready to be sacrificed to their Gods in a slaughter of music, screaming with their banshee.

Black Wash is available now