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Pathfinder stormed into the power metal scene in 2010 with the release of "Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time", an album which turned the heads of power metal fans everywhere. These new guys out of Poland certainly had great potential and probably wouldn't be one of those bands who released an album, then seemed to disappear after that. "Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time" left many wondering what else these guys could accomplish in the future.
Cue "Fifth Element", an album based on metal being, you guessed it, the fifth element.
It is very difficult to give an album a perfect ten. There always seems to be something that you feel could be better, even if it's the most minuscule of things. After listening to "Fifth Element" religiously, it occurred to me that I had indeed found the perfect album.
It opens like many power metal albums do; with a thunderous orchestral and spoken-word intro track. Then it kicks into the highest of gears with the epic, powerful and fantastic title track, featuring, as almost every song does on this album, screams that reach the cosmos, booming vocal harmonies, speedy guitar solos and blast beats, masterful orchestral arrangements and keyboard playing, and even a few harsh vocals. Arkadiusz Ruth even threw in a couple f-bombs while writing this masterpiece. Why not, eh?
The album continues at this fast, relentless pace until "Yin Yang", which is a slower song serving as a bit of a breather from the ride through the stars the listener has already been taken on.
Part two of the cosmic ride begins with "Elemental Power", the chorus of which describes the doings of the four, sorry, FIVE elements, and ends with one final chanting of the title track's chorus, which also makes an appearance as the second and final chorus and verse of "Ready to Die Between Stars". The listener has returned to Earth after a thrilling and unforgettable ride through the space-time continuum.
There are two bonus tracks on this album as well, both covers. "Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea", theme of the cartoon that bears the same name, is featured more commonly on the album. A cover of Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" appears on the Japanese edition. Pathfinder have really made these songs their own, even adding a neat little closing in "If I Could Turn Back Time".
"Fifth Element" proves that "Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time" was no fluke. These Polish gentlemen are for real, and they will be around for years to come. They put all their passion and work into their music, and to say it shows would be an understatement. You can't just hear the passion, you can feel it. Any band that can do that will surely be sticking around for more than a few years.