SORROWS PATH - Doom Philosophy

Sorrows Path - Doom Philosophy

11 songs
56:44 minutes
***** ***
Iron Shield


Sometimes it pays off to be an old school kind of guy. I listened to Sorrows Path’s second longplayer Doom Philosophy without reading the info material, and the first comparison that came to my mind were American doom metal band Solitude Aeternus. Imagine my surprise when I finally found out that their guitarist Edgar Rivera is a guest on this very album. Guest vocals came from Snowy Shaw, whose band Memento Mori is another huge influence on Greek band Sorrows Path.

But let’s go back in time to the band’s beginnings, which weren’t that easy at first. Founded in 1993, the band released two demos in the mid-Nineties, but there was also bad news, worst of all the tragic death of a founding member, and later mandatory military service that put the band on hiatus. In 2005 things started once again, one year later a compilation consisting of the two demos was released, but it took until 2010 for the debut album The Rough Path Of Nihilism to come out. It is here that I have to admit that I missed reviewing it.

So on to the present, and this time I promise to do better and give the band’s second album Doom Philosophy a fair review. First of all, don’t expect unadulterated doom metal. Despite the album title, we get a combination of epic power and second generation doom metal. So the doom parts owe more to the aforementioned Solitude Aeternus than to the slo-mo crawls of early Cathedral. The album starts with a moody intro which is followed by the first regular track Tragedy, one of the few songs running under four minutes. The song starts at a moderate enough pace, but soon adds momentum and turns into a true bred power metal track. Angelos Ioannidis’ vocals are quite special, and at first I didn’t know if I liked them, but they turned out to be an acquired taste. His performance is powerful yet a little nasal, giving his voice a rather unique texture that eventually gives the band its own sound. I also appreciate the very powerful drumming, and the guitars conjure occasionally horror motives that also fit quite well with the overall atmosphere. Best of all is the strange break occurring two minutes and forty seconds into the song, making you believe at first that something went terribly wrong before you notice that it’s just a very unusual but ultimately successful way to add a new element. The following A Dance With The Dead works the other way round, starting more dynamically before the chorus decreases the pace and adds some well-done pathos.

And this is basically where Sorrows Path are acting, with a repertoire ranging from the moderately sedate to the never quite fast, and while this may appear predictable on paper, their very mature and varied songwriting makes sure that there is not a single moment of boredom on the album. Even the seven minute long instrumental which concludes the album gives the musicians more freedom to insert progressive elements. Doom Philosophy is a really good album, from a band that may not have reinvented the genre but still doesn’t shy away from doing things their own way after all. Some production issues may remain, but in the end Sorrows Path sophomore effort is one of the more pleasant metal surprises of the year.

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