Pagandom album review – Hurt As A Shadow

Sweden’s melodeath pioneers Pagandom fail to regain pole position on new album

Pagandom album cover

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Hailed as the godfathers of the Gothenburg sound in their native Sweden, Pagandom’s late 80s/early 90s live shows were regarded as religious experiences by those lucky enough to witness them.

Initially disbanding two decades ago after releasing only one album and a fistful of demos, the melodic thrashers are back for a second bite of the cherry with At The Gates’ axe-wielder – and long-time fanboy of the band – Anders Björler now in their ranks.

While for the most part Hurt As A Shadow is an enjoyable slab of muscular metal (the explosive Behind The Words and the old-school, Slayer-esque Bridges Burn are particularly ferocious) there’s nothing on the 12-track release that will elevate Pagandom above cult level. The mid-paced title track limps along without any real purpose and the fairly uniform chugger Catapults & Trapdoors adds nothing positive to their legacy. For old-school fans, the record will serve as a welcome reminder of their power, just don’t expect anything more than a nostalgia trip.