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For those unfamiliar with these guys, they are genre-merging Power Metal act from Sweden with influences from Doom as well as traditional metal and Thrash. This CD, "Katharsis" is their third album and their first featuring Paul Schöning on vocals. Anyway, I discovered Pathos in the early summer when I witnessed their live performance on the 2004 Sweden Rock festival. Hearing how skilled they were, I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of them before. The fact that these guys don't have a major underground exposure bothers me.
There is no doubt that these guys are highly skilled musicians. Many of their songs are written in a Prog-like way with major melody progressions featuring a lot of guitar breakdowns and leads. This is what is so interesting about Pathos. While carrying a Power Metal catchiness they succeed in still being heavy as fuck on occasion and still having time to have slow, Doom-like sections. The song "Violated" is a great example. It starts out with a slow bassline that gets accompanied by lead guitar and works its way into crushing heavy riffing flawlessly without ever losing coherency.
The production sound is totally awesome as well. A clear, blasting sound with emphasis on chunky guitars and punishing drums. It totally reveals the monstrous talents of the drummer as well as the sheer power of the riffing. Vocals sound great as well simply being the icing on the cake and fitting perfectly in context with the rest of the sound. Many high-pitched vocalists (especially Power Metal ones) tend to piss me off but this guy is pretty much spot on in every song. He sounds clear, sincere and powerful without ever going over the top.
I would recommend this to Power Metal fans as well as fans of traditional metal and Prog fanatics. Even extreme metal fans could find a lot of listening value in this CD if they can stomach the vocals. The lack of variation in style between the songs is the only thing that stops "Katharsis" from being totally ace. This was released back in 2002, so I'm eagerly awaiting a follow-up. Meanwhile, I'm gonna promote this insanely underrated band to the masses.
Favourite tracks: "Katharsis", "Suicidal Saviour Lies", "Revelation" and "Violated"