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Pagandom album review – Hurt As A Shadow

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

Pagandom album cover

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.