Power of Metal.dk Review

Sorrows Path
Doom Philosophy
Style: Doom/Epic Metal
Release date: 12 September, 2014
Playing time: 57:00

Sorrows Path was formed in 1993 taking inspiration from staple bands in the genre like Memento Mori, Solitude Aeturnus, and Candlemass. After a long hiatus (full of extremely unfortunate accidents to various band members) they debuted their 2010 release “The Rough Path of Nihilism” which received praise for its mature melodic metal sound. With this follow-up “Doom Philosophy” the band hopes to finally achieve stable footing in the realm of doom metal. This latest collection of songs is certainly an accomplishment, full of strong writing and dark, atmospheric touches.

The album opens with the short track “First Beam of Darkness Into Light,” which starts with a nice atmosphere supported by ethereal keyboard pads. This first minute, as nicely crafted as it is, is not representative of the rest of the album, which is a shame because it’s very skillfully done and would have added complimentary variation to the dark music to come. The track smoothly modulates into acoustic guitar sounding quite sinister before wonderfully segueing into the next track “Tragedy,” which more accurately sets the stage for the next hour. The track is a solid five minutes of enjoyable riffing and great bass work. The vocals also are utilized well – one can almost hear vocalist Ioannidis’ voice drip with a deep operatic vibrato full of, appropriately enough, sorrow.

“A Dance with the Dead” continues the solid and heavy sound with some more choir-like elements, and is a welcome spin on the style of the previous track. This track also introduces a vocal element that will continue to play a role in the album: what I dub the “ghost boo.” The ghost boo sound effect is what appears to be Ioannidis recording in a high-pitched voice in a fashion that should sound silly but works quite well, and each time in the album it reappears it’s used in a different way to compliment the music, so it’s actually very impressive and a gives the band a way to stand out in the sea of its doom metal compatriots.

“Brother Of Life” is probably the strongest song in the album, with wonderfully creative riffs, impressive vocals, multiple breakdowns, and a building atmosphere that ends with a great impression. “Everything Can Change” continues the solid song-writing with some more variation on the vocals and even a nice acoustic segment that is much too short. The limitations of the overall approach to the vocals, however, begin to show in “The King With a Crown of Thorns,” where Ioannidis’ prominent vibrato starts to feel a little bit overused in light of the music, which takes a slower (but still heavy) approach to songwriting than the heavy and fast-paced riffing in the tracks before it. Despite this, it’s still an enjoyable track with an especially catchy chorus and a nice Spanish guitar breakdown that is again too short.

The next few tracks “The Venus and the Moon” and “Epoasis” return the heavy and past-paced style of the beginning of the album and are solid and enjoyable. “Clouds Inside Me” is a particularly good example of the some of the great and simple song-writing on the album, as it alternates between two distinct sections, eventually fusing the two in an extremely satisfying manner. And then we come to “Darkness”: a great track like the rest with some interesting flanger and almost techno-like sound effects at points, but with a funny highlight at the end. Without spoiling it, there is actually a hilarious laugh-out-loud moment that not only doesn’t ruin the heavy atmosphere of the doom metal surrounding it, but supplements it wonderfully. The album closes with the fantastic (nearly) instrumental “Damned (O)fish-L.S.D.” Here the song-writing and work by guitarist Giannis Tziligkakis and bassist Stavros Giannakos really shine without having to write around the vocals, and ends the album on a powerful note that invites the listener to spin it all over again.

This album is a very solid effort that shows the mature skill of these experienced musicians in the genre. It isn’t necessarily ground-breaking but it doesn’t need to be: the album accomplishes exactly what it aspires to. Recommended for all fans of doom metal as well as those who just want a nice barrage of heavy sound.

01. First Beam of Darkness Into Light
02. Tragedy
03. A Dance with the Dead
04. Brother of Life
05. Everything Can Change
06. The King With a Crown of Thorns
07. The Venus and the Moon
08. Epoasis
09. Clouds Inside Me
10. Darkness
11. Damned (O)fish-L.S.D.
Label: Iron Shield Records
Distribution: Pure Steel Promotion
Artwork rating: 60/100
Reviewed by: Frank Mondelli
Date: 10 September, 2014
Website: www.sorrowspath.net