PAGAN’S MIND – Infinity Divine (Re-release)

PAGAN'S MIND - Infinity Divine


Limb Music Products & Publishing
Release date: November 16, 2004

Guitars: B
Bass: B
Percussion: B+
Keyboards: B-
Vocals: B-
Lyrics: B+
Recording Quality: B-
Originality: B
Overall Rating: B-

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Infinity Divine is actually the first album by the Norwegian Progressive-Power Metal band Pagan’s Mind (P.M.), and was originally issued in 2000 under the FaceFront label … when the band signed with Limb Music for their second album, Celestial Entrance, great things happened and significant success was achieved. Their success and critical acclaim prompted Limb to acquire the rights to Infinity Divine in order to re-release the album in 2004 amid increased interest and better established distribution channels — just a handful of months before P.M.’s 3rd album is expected to be completed and released.

Instead of just stamping out thousands of CDs and hoping they sell, each of the tracks have been edited and remixed, and all of the vocals were rerecorded. A couple of bonus tracks are also provided – “Embracing Fear 2004,” a spiced up version of the original version (making the best song on the album even better), and a cover of King Diamond’s “At The Graves.” Overall, this re-released version of Infinity Divine contains 12 tracks of innovative Progressive-Power Metal music.

If you’re a fan of Progressive Metal, chances are you either own Celestial Entrance or you at least are familiar with the album, because it indeed is about as good as it gets from a musical, innovation, and production standpoint! Infinity Divine, however, kind of got lost in the shuffle when it was first released, and really didn’t make that much of an impact on the global Progressive Metal scene. The obvious question that comes to mind is, “Was the album’s lack of success due to poor distribution/marketing efforts, or was the album that much inferior to its successor?” A level of merit exists within both arguments.

The album starts out with a 1-minute intro and then blends into “Caught In A Dream.” Actually, this track, followed by the title track and the original version of “Embracing Fear,” are all very solid P.M. tunes. Compared to Celestial Entrance, the main differences apparent are that Nils K. Rue’s vocals seem a bit distant in the mix, and musically, the songs are less varied. There’s more of a standard Progressive Formula here without as much sound and style experimentation as can be found in Celestial Entrance. The next 4 songs, “Astral Projection,” “Angels’ Serenity,” “Dawning Of The Nemesis,” and “King’s Quest” all get extraordinarily high marks for being cool song titles, but they generally suffer from being very similar in musical formula to one another. Each apart are good songs … however, strung together they tire rather than making a statement. Refreshingly, though, P.M. gets back on track to close out the “original” album with “Twilight Arise” and “A New Beginning” … both as solid and original as the opening 3 tracks.

As a bonus, and to incite current owners of Infinity Divine to buy a 2nd copy, P.M. added a spiced up version of the best song on this album, and beefed up the title a bit to rename the track “Embracing Fear 2004.” It’s simply great, and could easily have fit seamlessly into the Celestial Entrance album, or likely into P.M.’s upcoming 3rd release. The second bonus track, “At The Graves,” is an outstanding rendition of King Diamond’s original composition, and includes guest appearances by Glen Drover (Eidolon, Megadeth, King Diamond) and Gus G. (Mystic Prophecy, Firewind, Dream Evil). Rarely, but sometimes, a cover tune outshines the original version … this is one of those rare occasions as P.M. simply nails this song with furious speed, variety, and Progressive Metal purpose.

It’s always difficult, and sometimes a tad unfair, to review and analyze a predecessor album after becoming familiar with a band’s successor release (or releases) … especially when the later release or releases were so strong. It’s kind of like being handed a sirloin steak after first eating a filet mignon … both more than satisfy the inners, but the bar immediately gets raised to foster nothing but the highest expectations when the best is served first. Essentially, this metaphor is the case with P.M. and these two albums. Infinity Divine is indeed a solid Progressive-Power Metal album, it’s just not as “perfect” as Celestial Entrance … but how many albums are?

In the end, if you’re a Progressive Metal fan and enjoy “intelligent” music containing lyrics with an insightful, philosophical, and “mystical” approach, then you won’t go wrong in picking up a copy of Infinity Divine … after that, if you haven’t already, treat yourself to Celestial Entrance too and take note how a solid band developed into a great band, and further developed their exquisite songwriting skills.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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