As I already mentioned it in the previous Pagan Megalith review, before recording the second album in 2010, the band decided to sleep the sleep of death for an unlimited period of time. In 2016 they awakened from their silent slumber and their long awaited album “Viharjárás” (Stormburst) was finally released. In February 2017 Neverheard Distro released it on tape as well. What better way to listen to this opus than on tape?
Recorded in the same successful formula than “Ólomharangok” (Leadenbells), (AE and Tuhlv), this sophomore album sees Pagan Megalith taking their music a step further on the evolution scale. Gone is the Gorgoroth vibe which dominated the previous album, instead their compositions are imbued with a more personal and sorrowful feeling.
The speed has maybe decreased a bit, replacing the previous groovy attitude with more elaborate compositions full of hate and disgust but overall, the whole dominant feeling is one of nihilism and hate. Again, don’t expect an album full of ballads and odes to love. No, no, no. There’s plenty of blast bea(s)ts on this album, but the drumming has shifted towards a certain nostalgia instead of a simple aggressive style.
Tulhv‘s guitars have a different sound than before, a bit rawer, but they still shred your brains, trust me on that. Maybe the band’s new style is a bit progressive, but not in that boring, classic way. Instead of the groovy, black’n roll sound, Pagan Megalith spits forth an almost minimalist approach, reminding me sometimes of the great works of Judas Iscariot and early Mayhem.
I have to mention here the vocals which are perfect for this genre. This simpler and “primitive” approach, which spews forth an evident sad aura of death is the pure essence of black metal and that’s why I love this album (and band) so much. Listen to “Alakmás” and “Színtelen” and you’ll understand what the fuck I’m talking about here. The lyrics are written again in Hungarian but this language adds a certain mysticism to the overall atmosphere, which is already dark and gloomy.
The big quality of this album (and of the band, in fact) is the great musical prowess of the two members. They have managed to create two very good black metal albums, with many personal touches, without falling in the trap of today’s clichees. The songs are very well structured and the whole atmosphere is quite depressive (e.g. “Kéneső“, “Szívnémaság” and “Rex Saturnalis“) but without falling into the arms of that cheesy suicidal metal crap.
“Viharjárás” is a very solid piece of extreme metal played exactly as it should be, with a heart and a soul and you can feel that on all their songs. The fact that the band waited 6 years to release this album was a very good move from their side as with this opus they showed how mature the songwriting and the essence has become.
Overall, this second Pagan Megalith release ( and I really hope it won’t be the last) continues perfectly what “Ólomharangok” has begun. A somber, desolated and nihilistic piece of music which accompanies the listener in a retrospective journey towards the discovery of his primitive instincts.
The deluxe edition which is available on their bandcamp page has two extra tracks, (2 live versions of “Révület jövel” and “A Gyilokjáróból“) which provide a very raw insight of how powerful Pagan Megalith is live. As a part of their rebirth, they have also started to play live again so maybe one day we’ll have the chance to see these guys at work on stage.
Until then, check these two albums out and keep an eye on Pagan Megalith, I am confident that their future works will be at least as good as these two releases combined.
1. Mennykövek (Stones of Heaven)
2. Viharjárás (Stormburst )
3. Virrasztásban (In Vigil )
4. A siralmas énekből (From the Sorrowful Lament)
5. Alakmás (Wraith)
6. Kéneső (Hydrargyron)
7. Szívnémaság (Heartsilence)
8. Rex Saturnalis
9. Színtelen (Uncoloured)
10. Magvaszakadtak (Sireless Ones)
Bonus tracks, not available on the regular edition:
11. Révület jövel (Live 2008)
12. A Gyilokjáróból (Live 2009)