Paganize Evilution Hour

Take a newly-formed band from Norway with an obviously anti-Christian-sounding name, get them signed to the black metal-friendly Candlelight Records, release an album with the word "evil” in the title and, finally, get ex-Emperor/Zyklon demigod Trym on drums and one would think you’d have a pretty standard recipe for grim, frostbitten black metal. Paganize, surprisingly, are not even close to what you’d imagine they’d sound like. Motivated by the notion that heavy metal gods like Sabbath and Priest should be praised for all time, Paganize are pretty much a power metal band akin to Iced Earth (when they were actually listenable). Evilution Hour is the band’s first full-length and fans of Iced Earth and other old school-sounding bands like Symphony X would do well to pay attention. Singer Geir Helge Fredheim sounds, not surprisingly, like Dio or Geoff Tate, and puts on a performance that will undoubtedly have listeners clutching the invisible grapefruit. Evilution Hour is a nice, straight-up, refreshing release from a band that are surprisingly good whilst remaining so simple. (Candlelight)