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This is the debut album from Italian progressive power metallers Pathosray. With progressive metal become far more popular in recent times, it is getting increasingly more tedious for new bands to produce outstanding material. For Pathosray, it is bad enough that the power metal scene is distastefully saturated in mediocre bands who would be better off as tribute acts.
‘Faded Crystals’ is certainly the strongest number of this album and it is no wonder it is the first proper song on the release, acquiring the attention of the listener with ease, following a classically inspired instrumental piano sonata from ‘Free of Doubt’ – the literal opener.
Making substantial and coherent use of symphonic keys paired with uplifting yet sporadic power metal guitar leads, Pathosray dictate an unpredictable path with their unique music. ‘Scent of Snow’ sounds like the route Hammerfall could have taken if they had matured, whilst ‘Lines to Follow’ is the ultimate compliment to progressive rock and the piano ballad ‘I Salicis Umbra’, despite its brevity sounds like a non-indifferent modern Sonata Arctica ballad. At times the vocals even sound like an inhuman hybrid of James LaBrie, Roy Kahn and Joacim Cans. The only draw back this release has is the fact that as it progresses, the songs lack variation. Perhaps it was a mistake placing ‘Faded Crystals’ so early on.
Pathosray are a promising act and with more ambition and variation they could surpass new favourites such as Circus Maximus and older proggers such as Evergrey.
Originally written for www.soundshock.net