(Earth 'n' Wood, 2007)
Paganus is a Swedish folk-rock band with an emphasis on the rock. This might put them out of consideration for many Rambles.NET visitors, but these guys deserve a chance. They are often heavy, but it is in the tradition of classic rock or metal, without the nihilism or grinding chords of many groups.
The band has the common lineup of singer/guitarist, lead guitarist, drummer and bassist, but adds Erik Gothin on fiddle, mandolin, banjo and as second vocalist.
Gothin does not seem to always play, so you get a contrast from track to track. Paganus goes from rock, to folk, to acoustic singer/songwriter, or even to music that sounds like early Americana with the addition of the fiddle. The guitar-only rock songs have a good balance of drive and melody, but the more interesting of the rockers are those that add the fiddle, something many of us have not heard since the days of Kansas. Many of the folkish songs start out acoustically but then add electric guitars, giving them a prog rock sound.
The CD liner is in Swedish, without translation, so I can't comment on the lyrics (except the first song, "Dansa, Dansa, Dansa," seems easy to translate). A web source calls them "forest-rock," that gets its inspiration "from bog, grass, bark and trees." They have been compared to Jethro Tull, except that you would have to substitute violin for flute.
The variety of these 12 songs makes for interesting and enjoyable listening. You can check them out at www.myspace.com/skogsrock or www.paganus.se, although the latter site is in Swedish.
10 April 2010
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