When you think doom metal, you usually think of a dirge. Sorrows Path is a refreshing change of pace from that stereotype.
The instrumental intro lets you know this will be something different, a very dark acoustic passage reminiscent of Nile. A calm before the storm.
In my opinion, the strongest song on the album is right afterwards, “Fantasies Will Never Die”. Soaring vocals and guitar theatrics belie a dark undertone throughout, to take nothing at all away from the whiplash timing changes a la Fates Warning and the sweep arpeggios in the solo are the icing on the cake.
Don’t sell Sorrows Path short as a one-trick pony. Skip ahead to track four and get pummeled by the dynamic “My Chosen God”, a chilling contrast between acoustic dirge and almost thrash-like chorus. Angelos Ioannidis shows the full range of his capabilities going from a calm whisper to a vocal fry growl, all the way to the soaring head voice and sustained notes of “Fantasies” before it. It all comes to a climax during the solo, a barely controlled maelstrom bursting at the seams.
I’m also going to take a moment to mention that of all the influences Sorrows Path mention, the big standout is Fates Warning. The two songs above could be just as at home on 1985’s The Specter Within with “My Chosen God” in particular having a very “Apparition” feel to it when the dam breaks and all hell breaks loose.
Sorrows Path most definitely have the mechanics of dynamics refined to a science, knowing that keeping things changing is what keeps the pulse going. While every single song mentioned so far have had that dynamic in mind, “Revival of Feminine Grandeur” breaks from the pattern right off the starting blocks. An unabashedly heavy and notably faster paced epic, it too even has a hidden gem in the form of a piano-laden bridge, building to a crescendo of machine gunned double-kick madness and a neo-classical solo with the fire to match.
The album closes with the title track, a statement in itself that their final song is anything but. “Touching Infinity” is an instrumental as well, very short and incredibly dark. Contrasting the opening track, it is more like a sleeping volcano than an eruption building. Played as intended as the outtro to “Revival”, it showcases a band that have reached a certain maturity in their songwriting and have mastered the art of musically telling the audience they have more to say.
On a final note, it is exceptionally hard to break the stereotype of doom metal being a growling slow-paced crawl to a painful death – a LOT of it has that feel. Sorrows Path blows that notion completely away, managing to be both high energy and darker than midnight in a classically influenced package well worthy of their influences.
Keep them wanting more and they’ll be eating from the palm of your hand.
Keep the metal dark and epic from Athens and keep kicking ass!
Sorrows Path are:
Theo Christodoulou – Drums
Stavros Giannakos – Bass
Angelos Ioannidis – Vocals
Kostas Salomidis – Guitar
George Vichos – Guitar