It doesn’t happen a lot lately that a new album in the power metal genre makes me really enthusiastic. Almost all has been said and done in this genre, or should I say played and song. So when I put on the new album of Arrayan Path, I expected that the same thing would happen again to me as it does most of the time: ‘I like it because I like power metal and that’s about it’. Now I need to confess that I have a big catalogue of power metal cd’s from a lot of bands, but (shame on me) that I never did buy one of Arrayan Path. I also remember that I reviewed some of their earlier albums in 2011 and 2013 and that I liked it. Now that I have listened to their new album Dawn Of Aquarius, I will certainly also buy some of their earlier works.
This new album has all a perfect power metal album needs. First and most important are the vocals. Leader of the band Nicholas Leptos has an amazing voice, he sings from high to low without a single problem and he can be named in the same sentence together with Roy Khan and other top singers in the genre. Second for a good album is the song-writing and the variety in the songs. Well, the balance is there, from fast to slow and everything in between. Good catchy melodies and refrains are also important ingredients and present on Dawn Of Aquarius. The rhytmn section is very tight and the keyboards play the tunes at the right moment and are there to color the picture perfect. In a few songs there are some grunting vocals added, just to create the right darker atmosphere. What I also like is that you can hear the lyrical theme about Hindu history and mythology back in the music. A lot of songs have Eastern influences and the use of traditional instruments like the oud and yaylin tambur complete it.
I already said something about the variety on this album, with 13 songs and over an hour of music that is very important. Every time I listen to this album, it surprises me that it is already over again. It listens away so easy and it never bores a second. After an Eastern sounding intro ‘Equilibrium’ opens furious with excellent singing, good riffing, a perfect catchy refrain, perfect bass lines and near the end of the song a kind of accelerating style of singing. Then the most catchy and addictive track follows, due to the singing of Nicholas. Again I hear dominating bass lines that form the perfect base. The uptempo tempos keep coming with a sporadic slower break. With ‘The Hundred Names Of Kali Ma’ the Eastern sounding tunes that are embedded in the entire album reach their highlight.
Writing about what happens in a song and how a song sounds like is so difficult, it is like writing about how much you like a painting and why you like it so much. An impossible job, like music it is something you must experience. ‘She Who Is Primordial Wisdom’ is a song I just can’t describe with any pen. Just buy the damn album and enjoy it! Every single song after that is one highlight after another and I can’t really pick one that is my favorite, or is it perhaps the title track? A hunting track with fast unique riffing, a very strong refrain and a pulsating bass. That one made the most impression on me when I listened to the album for the first time, but now I just like them all!
Because of the Eastern influences, the music style and the excellent vocals this Dawn Of Aquarius will be liked a lot by Kamelot fans I think. For me this is ‘end of the year’ list stuff and my favorite 2017 power metal album. Arrayan Path from Cyprus rules!
02. The Flower Born of Itself
03. Dark Daughter of the Snake
04. The Hundred Names of Kali Ma
05. So it Shall be Written
06. She Who is Primordial Wisdom
07. Dawn of Aquarius
08. Cremation Grounds
09. Empress (Reality of all the Threes)
10. Lotus Eyes
11. The Eleventh Mantra
12. Guardian Angel
13. Garland of Skulls
Playing Time: 63:00
Nicholas Leptos – Vocals
Socrates Leptos – Guitars
Christoforos Gavriel – Guitars
Miguel Trapezaris – Bass
Stefan Dittrich – Drums
Kikis Apostolou – Guitars (session)
Huseyin Kirmizi – Keyboards (session)