Goddess Of Desire - Awaken Pagan Gods - 2005 - Armageddon Music
1. Awakening The Gods 2. March To Meet 3. Dead End Street 4. Holy War 5. Bloodstained Sight 6. Awaken Pagan Gods 7. Demolition 8. Victory Is Mine 9. Scream For Metal True 10. Booze 11. Nothing's Free 12. Majest Of Metal
Finally metal is fun again, an absolute joy to these ears, a trait not common in too many of today's releases. No, Goddess Of Desire have turned the table, here creating the perfect portrait of paint by numbers metal, and by that I mean no disrespect in the least, in fact these Danish superstars have gone back to the drawing board and conjured up that wonderful feeling all over again, that feeling of 80s delight. "Awaken Pagan Gods" is the perfect formula, a well calculated romp through everything fabulous and inspiring about the mid-80s metal movement, this being an exercise in flattery, not imitation. The end result is one that is both pleasing and rousing, a wake up call for everyone who has sported the denim and leather.
"Awaken Pagan Gods" is the fourth album from Goddess Of Desire and one that the band describes as a combination of their second and third releases ("Symbol Of Triumph" & "Conquerors Divine"). This is my first introduction to the band, and from what I've heard here, I will be going back in time and buying the previous material. But let us concentrate on what we have before us now, that being another fine addition from the masterminds at Armageddon Music. Those clever folks have brought us quality releases this year from Metalium, Suidakra, and Vanguard, with this release probably being the better of the roster thus far. This particular installment gets the production treatment from Remco Bouwens and receives mastering from Slaya, known for work with The Gathering in the past. As far as the band goes, it is an odd lineup to say the least. Lord Arydon is on guitar and vocals, Count August on bass and vocals, Bastard on drums, and Delilah running around the stage arousing the crowd with wicked flare.
Goddess Of Desire is really hard to describe. For the most part they stay within the 80s confines, occasionally breaking out into more extreme territories, but always keeping the traditional metal at the heart of their delivery. An addictive Teutonic feeling runs through the band as well, keeping that Paragon/Wizard persona in tact throughout. Mainly songs like "March To Meet", "Dead End Street", and "Scream For Metal True" are soaked with 80s riffs, those fast, melodic eruptions that just recall the very best of Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Grim Reaper. Other tracks are extremely new wave defined, with "Victory Is Mine" and "Holy War" being completely dominant with twin guitar melody and solid songwriting. Along with the more traditional output comes a more sinister approach, clearly evident on the Venom inspired "Demolition". Even a bit of rock 'n roll punk is thrown in with the Motorhead driven "Nothing's Free".
The vocals actually use a dual approach, with Lord Arydon and Count August mixing up a low, gruff voice with the higher, more black metal inspired vocal pattern. Neither singer really carries the vocals to the extreme, both reaching powerful levels while still allowing the listener to actually understand them (a rare quality indeed!). If you crossed Black League vocalist Taneli Jarva with Venom's Cronos you would arrive at the Goddess Of Desire vocal path. The black metal side winds up sounding a bit like Usurper. Overall the vocals are extremely well done and fit the mood of the record just fine.
"Awaken Pagan Gods" is really an absolute masterpiece. I'm sure critics will complain that this has been done to death, and I will agree, but at the same time some bands just do this and do it so well that the end result is just maximum entertainment. That is really what you have here, just a sheer enjoyment and one that seems to have long staying power. "Scream For Metal True!"
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details