Country: Greece – Style: Doom / Progressive Power Metal
All Love Is Lost – Lost Innocence – Lost Youth
The Beast (S.P.R.)
Queen Of Doom
Hymn Of Differentiation
Empty Eyes And Blackened Hearts
This path is rough… dangerous and mysterious.
Foreword: We here at Oliverdsw.Wordpress are always very grateful to receive promotional material offered by different bands – especially when they come so nicely packaged like it has recently been the case with the new SORROWS PATH-album, THE ROUGH PATH OF NIHILISM. So, what is there to know about this Doom Metal-band that had already been formed in 1993 ? They started with a lot of smaller live gigs, recording their first demo in 1995, releasing another promo tape one year later; just when several personal aspects and problems entered the life’s of each and every band member. But they never gave up hope – which is why their first album (which contained all the material that has been collected these years) finally came out in 2006. And this date also marked their point of re-entry into the overall Doom Metal-genre, having a lot of stuff going on – slowly preparing another grandé release, which has been labelled the THE ROUGH PATH OF NIHILISM. And that is the album we will speak about, today.
Review: Well, one thing you will note from the scratch is that SORROWS PATH is definitely none of the Doom Metal-bands you would refer to as ‚typical‘. Of course their overall sound could be referred to as Heavy, Epic and Doom-like; but they also draw an eye to many other, rather Progressive aspects. We get an example of this special, diversified SORRORWS PATH-sound in the opener, ALL LOVE IS LOST. It starts off like a slowly-tempered ballad, as you might expect from the track’s name – but after the first one and a half minutes there is a serious and remarkable break. Now the heavy guitars and the drums tune in, along with the lead singer Angelos Ioannidis, who is now back with more power. What makes this track so interesting is the combination of different genres and influences, SORROWS PATH are alternating between different moods so easily – what makes it a very entertaining, almost hypnotic listener’s experience. But let us wait and see… Next up is the heavy THE BEAST, which presents us loads of catchy riffs and a nice instrumental part; also by bringing in some decent orchestral parts in the refrain. Here we have SORROWS PATH at their best – a very dark and moody, nicely arranged piece of music which lives from the effort of every single band member. However, with HONESTLY… follows a rather unspectacular (when compared directly) piece with a refrain that could have been presented in a more ambitious / powerful manner, although there is nothing to complain about the guitar work and the decently added orchestral and keyboard parts.
What about FETISH then, a track that promises to be kind of… interesting ? Well, it is – it actually turns out to go into a more opera-orientated direction in the later development, what makes it even more entertaining. Very brutal riffs are supporting the overall mood, which makes this one a pretty good banger with a straight, but at the same time experimental touch – and ‚dirty‘ lyrics. With DIRTY GAME follows the second of these more… obvious tracks that deal with sexuality and all the ‚dirty‘ things, however; this one is not as strong as the previous one, leaving a rather awkward impression behind. Let us move on to MR HOLY, which starts very strong indeed. But then again, the production quality seems to finally reach its limits here, the whole thing tends to sound a little out-of-round every now and then. Now, with GETTING CLOSER SORROWS PATH totally enter the PATH OF NIHILISM, taking the listener away to an uncertain journey full of different musical moods and tenses – after two or three fill-in tracks (if you would call them so) they surprisingly start to come back in full density, what makes this one a definite recommendation. Just like the upcoming QUEEN OF DOOM – finally, another one of these tracks that will find a way to sustainability stay in your earshot. Especially the guitars are offering a great variety in terms of a decent technical ’shredding‘, in combination with a great refrain you will have nothing more to ask for. PROSTITUTE, one of the slower-paced tracks with the type of lyrics that probably wont‘ satisfy everyone (when it comes to the overall Doom-audience), follows next, and indeed: sometimes SORROWS PATH seem to loose themselves a little in the more Progressive parts of the album, delivering only few truly striking highlights. Same goes for the HYMN OF DIFFERENTATION and EMPTY EYES AND BLACKENED HEARTS – these are all tracks that can not be counted to the overall ‚elite‘ of this album, there just are a handful that are far better (and far more independent, or simply: catchy). The quest finally ends with the final track entitled NIHILISM, which has a great orchestral intro and outro part, moving along heavily; but then again not too ‚doomly‘.
Conclusion: Just two more things – and SORROWS PATH might climb all their way up into the circle of the more mentionable Metal-bands. Firstly, they need to draw an eye to the sound- and production quality, which still seems to be a bit ‚flat‘ and spongy sometimes (at least in my ears). And second, Angelos Ioannidis needs to harmonise even more with the instrumental parts, maybe adding a bit more ‚power‘ and harshness to the lyrics every now and then. And third (oh well, I said two things, right): a different type of conceptual ’setting‘ or lyrical content could be more pleasurable. In short: just add a little power, a few more ‚true‘ highlights (like the first two tracks), and thou shall have it. THE ROUGH PATH OF NIHILISM may not be an all-time masterpiece, but certainly an above-average genre-album that will find its fans. Every listener with a music passion who has a little more ‚open‘ approach to the limits of genres (I know there are a lot of Speed / Power Metal-fans out there) should definitely take a look – or two, since the album has some offerings to make that won’t really reach the surface until you listened to it a few more times. However: do not expect an uplifting Power Metal-album here, for you will enter the PATH OF NIHILISM… which is rather dark than bright. /m\
„A somewhat different, nonetheless good album.“