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Pathosray - s/t 4/5

Reviewed: 1-11-08


1. Free of doubt
2. Faded crystals
3. Lines to follow
4. Scent of snow
5. Sorrow never dies
6. The sad game
7. In salicis umbra
8. Strange kind of energy
9. Emerald city

Surprisingly an Italian band, Pathosray enter the metal scene by introducing their impressive 's/t' debut, a CD that I was at first hesitant to grab, as I figured it to be progressive metal, but after reading comparisons to other bands I have (by knowledgeable metalheads), I decided to pick it up. A smart choice for sure, as although this debut leans mostly towards progressive metal, it also has a power metal side and it's a great blend of Pagan's Mind, Evergrey, Ashent, Circus Maximus and Darkwater. Although I'm not a major fan of pure progressive metal (as most of you know), the bands that sit somewhere between progressive metal and power metal I do enjoy.

One of the things that hit me first was the clear and accent-free voice of Marco Sandron, who has a great tone that reminds me of Nils Rue from Pagan's Mind. But there are some slightly aggressive vocals as well, which pop up at some of the heavier parts. The band provides many of these heavy/crunchy segments too, and rest assured that this is not one of those wimpy progressive metal CDs. There are some faster parts as well, most notable on track 3 "Lines to follow", track 6 "The sad game" and track 8 "Strange kind of energy", though I'm not sure if the CD will be fast enough overall for most die-hard power metal fans.

As with most progressive/power metal bands, keyboards are present, sometimes in a manner you'd expect from a typcial progressive metal band and other times they're used in an atmospheric manner, but I don't find them to dominate the music, as heavy riffs are the focus throughout most of the songs. The entire CD is at least great, but my favorite songs would be the emotional track 5 "Sorrow never dies" and definitely the powerful (and most memorable) track 4 "Scent of snow". Thankfully, there aren't any ultra-long expiremental segments and most of the songs are of normal length.

In the end, Pathosray's 's/t' debut is a CD that's highly recommended to fans of progressive power metal, especially fans of the bands mentioned at the beginning of this review. But if you hold on tight to pure power metal and almost never let go to see what's happening in the progressive direction, this probably won't be for you.




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