Pagan Altar Live Shows This Month; New Reissues Due in December

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pagan altar records

Pagan Altar coming to the US, even just for five shows, is a big deal. I don’t need to go into the whole blah-blah-doom-legends-plus-they’ve-got-Brendan-from-MagicCircle-singing thing, but I will if you want. Because it’s true. Two shows in Canada, one on the East Coast, one in the Midwest, one on the West Coast — New York, Chicago, L.A. — and that’s it. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life — yes, I am; pretty much always — but if you ever wanted to see Pagan Altar, this is the time.

Temple of Mystery Records is also continuing its series of reissues of the band’s work, getting their releases back out on tape, CD and LP for those either of a new generation of listeners or who basically just want to allocate more shelf-space to Pagan Altar, which is fair enough. The Time Lord and Mythical and Magical are both due in December, and I’m sure there will be preorders and all that



PAGAN ALTAR’s “Mythical & Magical” and “Time Lord” to be reissued by TEMPLE OF MYSTERY, North American tour coming

Pagan Altar’s Mythical & Magical and The Time Lord are set to be released on December 4th on Temple of Mystery Records. Both albums will be reissued on CD format, deluxe vinyl versions, and audiophile cassettes.

Each CD version include a completely new remaster, complete layout redesign, rare photos, and exclusive liner notes by journalist Sarah Kitteringham.

Each vinyl version include completely new remasters, deluxe gatefold covers, and complete layout redesign. Mythical & Magical includes a beautiful etch on side D, and The Time Lord includes a recently unearthed version of “Night Rider” from the same sessions as the other recordings! Vinyl is available on regular black and limited colors (250 each only copies) available exclusively at the label’s website HERE.

Each cassette versions are pressed on Chromium Dioxide audiophile tapes and include remastered audio.

To celebrate the reissues, Pagan Altar will undertake the following shows around Europe and North America this summer:

MONTREAL – Friday, August 23rd
Pagan Altar w/Cauchemar and Palmistry

TORONTO – Saturday, August 24th
Pagan Altar w/Blood Ceremony, Cauchemar, and Smoulder

BROOKLYN – Friday, August 30th
Pagan Altar w/Cauchemar and Spite

CHICAGO – Saturday, August 31st
Pagan Altar w/Cauchemar and High Spirits

LOS ANGELES – Sunday, September 1st
Pagan Altar w/Cauchemar

Tracklisting for Pagan Altar’s Mythical and Magical
1. Samhein
2. The Cry of the Banshee
3. The Crowman
4. Daemoni Na Noiche
5. The Sorcerer
6. Flight of the Witch Queen
7. Dance of the Druids
8. The Erl King
9. The Witches Pathway
10. Sharnie
11. The Rising of the Dark Lord

Featuring songs written mostly between 1976 and 1983, Mythical & Magical is Pagan Altar’s third album and is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of their career. This grandiose, ancient-sounding masterpiece owes most of its atmosphere to Terry Jones’ majestic vocals and Alan Jones’ intricate guitar licks—which gracefully weave a web of medieval-tinged solos throughout the songs. The unique mixture of heavy doom rock and mournful English folk found on Mythical & Magical is absolutely impeccable and will forever be celebrated among the knowing as one of the best albums of the genre. Gatefold LP version includes insert, new layout, etch on vinyl, and remastered songs, and jewelcase CD version includes exclusive liner notes and remastered songs.

Tracklisting for Pagan Altar’s The Time Lord
1. Highway Cavalier
2. The Time Lord
3. Judgement of the Dead
4. The Black Mass
5. Reincarnation
6. Night Rider

Originally recorded back in 1978-79, The Time Lord features Pagan Altar’s earliest recordings. Two of these flawlessly executed tracks are from a 24-track recording session, and the rest of the album are early, atmospheric versions of songs that were later re-recorded on Judgement of the Dead. This LP includes a long-lost, never-before-heard version of “Night Rider,” from the same era as the other songs! This is pure doom metal sorcery. LP version includes insert, new layout, and remastered songs, and jewelcase CD version includes exclusive liner notes and remastered songs.

Pagan Altar, Live at Old Grave Fest, Oct. 13, 2018

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Pagan Altar, The Time Lord: The Mantra of the Tumult

Posted in Reviews on September 13th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Since regrouping in 2004 and releasing their second album, The Lords of Hypocrisy, and following two years later with Magical & Mythical, things have been relatively quiet for unsung NWOBHM heroes Pagan Altar. Vinyl splits with Jex Thoth in 2007 and Mirror of Deception in 2011 have kept their name out there, but the father/son founding team of Terry Jones (vocals) and Alan Jones (guitar/backing vocals) have been pretty quiet, playing sporadically but not with any great regularity or promotion. That may or may not change in 2013 as the Joneses make their US debut with a new lineup of Pagan Altar at the Maryland Deathfest – an appearance that hopefully arrives concurrently to a new album – but until then, the band look backwards with a reissue of some of their earliest recordings in the form of the 32-minute The Time Lord collection. Released on CD by respectable NWOBHM historians Shadow Kingdom Records (see also Manilla Road, Jameson Raid, Wolfbane and doom from Iron Man, Revelation and Argus, among others), this remastered, re-artworked version of The Time Lord is actually a reissue of a reissue, these five tracks having seen release on vinyl in 2004 when the band first came back together, but in the spirit of 1998’s Volume 1 – which was recorded in 1982 – 2012 finds these tracks from 1978-’79 no less thrilling than they might ever have been, the opening duo of “Highway Cavalier” and the title-track recorded at a professional studio in London and the remaining three – “Judgement of the Dead,” “The Black Mass” and “Reincarnation” put to tape in the band’s own studio. And it was tape. You can hear the audio hiss on “Judgement of the Dead,” from 1978, Terry and Alan Jones joined by bassist Glen Robinson and drummer Ivor Harper, who’d be replaced by Mark Elliott by the time 1979 arrived. It being a collection of material recorded across a swath of time and with different personnel – “Highway Cavalier” and “The Time Lord” also feature second guitarist Les Moody – an overarching flow isn’t really a concern, but it’s worth noting that one can listen to The Time Lord as a single record and not just a compilation and find it enjoyable on that level as well, the pre-shred in the guitars of “Highway Cavalier” portending what underground metal would become as it matured over the next decade.

It’s the shortest track on The Time Lord by nearly three full minutes, but “Highway Cavalier” might also be the most aptly-titled song on the release. At 2:37, it establishes some kinship with Motörhead’s pervasive bullshit-free ethic and relies on head-down, forward-directed push which Terry tops with vocal grit that’s still melodic without being overdone. The chug is slower than Pagan Altar’s London-based contemporaries, who would release Overkill the next year, but the simplicity of the groove is there, and it echoes as much through the material as Terry’s singing does while he sings about the idyllic biker-type freedom of the open highway: “I’m living free and easy/That’s how it’s gonna be/I’m free, free, free to be me.” It’s a chorus that only has time to repeat twice but nonetheless proves among the most effective on The Time Lord, setting up an interesting context for the more psychedelic “The Time Lord,” which takes a relatively simple guitar line and draws out the leads to efficiently give the song a sense of space. It’s quite a jump from frill-less “Highway Cavalier” to the title-cut, but the latter has a no-less-straightforward structure for its first half and it’s not until after a final chorus around four minutes in that Pagan Altar – then Terry and Alan as well as Moody, Robinson and Harper – break into an extended instrumental jam that rounds out the remainder of the time, a bit of Southern inflection working into the guitar solo underscored by Robinson’s low end righteousness (no doubt bolstered by the remaster job here) as Harper skillfully holds the progression together and provides a sense of linear movement. They crash to a relatively unceremonious finish, like they just decided to stop – though one imagines they kept that jam going much longer in practice at the time – and “Judgement of the Dead” brings about the first of the three self-recordings. The sound is rougher, but not terribly or detrimentally so – the lo-fi production and tape hiss fit the slower, Sabbath-style plod of the track pretty well. Terry delivers an excellently warbling cave echo vocal and though they’ve lost Moody in the interim, the guitars still have time to add little flourishes like plucking the strings up on the headstock and not missing a beat in the central riff of the verse. Rather than a long instrumental second half, “Judgement of the Dead” brings back its chorus in the midst of a break and then cycles through again, ending just under the seven-minute mark with one last chorus.

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