Pagan's Mind - Celestial Entrance (2003) - 5/5
Of all the albums by Pagan's Mind I've heard (haven't heard their last one, "God's Equation"), this one is the closest to Dream Theater. Now, before you got off labelling this Norse prog-outfit as another DT-wannabe, there are some major differences. Yes, you can hear some Petrucci and Portnoy in there, but Pagan's Mind are more atmospheric and "spacey" than their American counterparts. They may not have the raw technical power of DT, but a lot of the time, they can be catchier, more acessible, and have somewhat more "soul" in their music. Not that DT doesn't have that, it's just that PM tend to outdue DT when it comes to that.
There's also some minor power metal influence, but it fortunately doesn't turn the album into Sonata Arctica, although their previous album was basically prog/power, but very very well done prog-power. Like DT, their songs are pretty long, but never go into the double-digits for song-lengths, and while they aren't quite as complex, the alien atmosphere and sci-fi lyrics will draw you in, along with the amazing solos and bizarre, yet soothing vocacls.
A must have for any prog-fan.
By J. Chan