Pagan Altar - The Room Of Shadows album review

Cult NWOBHM crew offer up a stunning epitaph

Cover art for Pagan Altar - The Room Of Shadows album

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When Pagan Altar singer Terry Jones lost his battle against cancer two years ago, close to his 70th birthday, the task of finishing an album the band had been working on since 2006 was left to his son and guitarist, Alan. Against all odds, the final full-length from NWOBHM’s most overlooked gems is as luminous and gracious as their early albums were dark and hopeless. Whereas part of Pagan Altar’s formative charm lay in their rough production values, The Room Of Shadows is by far the band’s richest and most melodic album to date, with dual harmonies aplenty and a genuine 70s sensibility, even if Terry Jones’s vocals are more twangy than ever. Like Judas Priest before them Pagan Altar went on full-on leather’n’studsmode but with a more arcane and yet more unmistakably British bent. There’s a name for this kind of metal: class