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(9 Reviews)

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  • I would be doing this band and this album a great diservice by not giving it a review. This is afterall my 2nd favorite album of 2007 (You can read my best of 2007 list on Amazon) ranking only below Symphony X’s legendary new album ‘Paradise Lost’.

    Pathosray are from Italy and play prog metal in a very heavy sense. The songs sound hungry and energenic like the band is out to prove something. Like the new Symphony X this is a very heavy and intense record for the prog genre which sets it apart from the others. Sure Dream Theater elements can eaisily be heard in the music but it’s mixed with elements of heavier bands like Nevermore and Tad Morose. I swear I even hear an old Metallica touch in some of the riffs! You can even hear some 70’s elements underlying in the music’s atmosphere mainly from the cool keyboard work, and when mixed with the crushing in your face guitars this sounds really cool and original!

    The musicians are all top notch of course and the songs are all excellent. The singer is very versitile and can sing very aggressively or clear and soaring depending on the music. There are even a few growls on the track ‘Sad Game’.

    Another great thing about this album is the sound! Very authentic production with a live and genuine feel. The sound kinda reminds me of the latest from Iron Maiden ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ only a lot heavier with the guitars a lot higher in the mix. But definately not your typical digital sound and click track timing.

    I am anxiously awaiting the next output from this killer band! I sincerely hope they don’t get pigonholed by the media as a prog band and subsequently try to tone down there sound to fit in. The aggressive style in which this band plays is what makes this album stand out and frankly makes it better.

    Posted on January 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Pathosray’s first album is quite a statement for the band. Not many debuts are as tight and strong as this. Pathosray’s structure sound is a throw back to the 80’s Metal style to me. There are no growling vocals or thrashing guitars. Amongst this structure is skillfully threaded melodies, keyboards and guitar solos which makes the album nicely Progressive. I enjoyed the varying vocal styles, many times changing throughout one song. There are just excellent stand out tracks on this album like Scent of Snow, Sorrow Never Dies and the last track Emerald City. No one musician dominates on this album. All seem to come in and out with smooth transitions and compliment one another very well. The skill of making seamless transitions within the songs I feel is a strong point for the album. The songs flow without a sense of break neck 180’s, radical speed shifts, or improv. Another strong point of the album are the melodic lyrics and hooks in some of the songs. One track on this album is 1:39 and it is great, I can’t believe the band didn’t expand this into a full length song. If the keyboardist put out a solo album of acoustic piano as beautiful as the intro on this album I’d be first in line to snap one up. I think if radio was open minded enough to give Pathosray’s stronger tracks some air play this album could be a commercial success. I know “commercial” is a bad word to some but this album is that good. Getting off the starting line like this I hope we continue to see a lot of good things from Pathosray.

    Posted on January 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I took a chance on this. None of the record shops out here ever heard of this band. What a shame. One of the best if not the best cd I’ve heard in a long long time. I think it’s much better that the latest Symphony X disc by far and I do like them. My two favorites songs are Faded to Crystals and Sorrow Never dies. The rest of the tracks arn’t far behind. So go and buy this disc and support this band.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I decided to purchase this album based on the reviews here as well. One of the reviews stated that this album, as well as Symphony X, were his favorites for 2007. Well, I would have to say I agree 100%! What an incredible first release for a progressive metal band. I know these guys have been together since early in the decade, so their first studio album should be good. But this is outstanding. Lines to Follow and Scent of Snow are my early favorites, with Faded Crystals and The Sad Game close behind. On first listen, I knew there was something about the music these guys are putting out. The keyboard sounds are a bit unusual in some parts, but man do they work. Impressive percussion, bass, and guitar work easily put this album over the top for me on my second listen. This is a MUST HAVE album. I haven’t said that about an album in a long time. Italy has produced a phenominal band here.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Italy’s Pathosray is in some ways different from other Italian progressive metal bands such as Zen, Khali, and Empty Tremor in that they are significantly heavier in their musical statements. Though they definitely follow a predominantly Dream Theater-defined route, their frequent use of double bass drum onslaught and slightly thrash-inflected guitar work bring to mind early Eldritch, one of Italy’s greatest power-thrash combos ever.

    The self-titled debut consists of nine tracks, two of which clock in at less than two minutes. “Free of Doubt” is the album’s keyboard-laden intro that segues into the stomping “Faded Crystals”, a tune that is relentlessly heavy with corrosive riffing and aggressive vocals which suddenly transform into crystal clear melodies during the chunky chorus. Not for a moment is melody sacrificed for single-minded fury, but vocalist Marco Sandron does know when to reach for heavens and belt out scorching high screams as well as go for ultra-clean statements with creepy whispering or melodic mid-range delivery.

    On the comparatively more challenging “Lines to Follow”, for instance, Sandron delivers the verses aggressively in an almost traditional metal sense. However, as the chorus arrives, he opts for a Khan-like multiple harmony-driven style that totally balances the whole piece out. Fabio D’Amore’s incessant bass stomp lays the foundation for a thrashy rhythm workout in the finale.

    “Scent of Snow” is the album’s catchiest number, and evokes another Sensory Records band, Pantommind. With its extended intro, cool bass work, thunderous drumming, and versatile vocals, it recalls later-day Vanden Plas. Sandron’s range of vibrato is frightening, and the chorus is simply infectious. Broken down into a nifty acoustic passage, the song regains pace with the arrival of a very Dream Theater-inspired instrumental section. The slightly Egyptian-scaled guitar work and odd-sounding keyboard work at the end are truly impressive. Provided they continue to hone and develop their sound, Pathosray could become a great prog band in the future.

    Not everything is swathed in melodic song structures on this album, however. And it is this that sets them apart from their contemporaries. Following the one-minute piano ballad “In Salicis Umbra” (the only ballad on the album), the band foray into the most straightforward number “Strange Kind of Energy”, which has the potential of gaining them fans of melodic metal and power metal as well. It is a fast-paced track with the occasional spoken vocals and sprinkles of keyboards thrown in. The last track is decidedly more eventful, as it contains yet another melodic chorus backed by wailing guitar work courtesy of Luca Luison.

    The album’s centrepiece is “The Sad Game”, just shy of the ten-minute mark. Guesting the godly Alessandro Seravalle from Garden Wall on back vocals, this is easily their darkest and most wicked offering. Thrash-imbued guitar work and unorthodox chord progressions in the intro signal drummer Ivan Moni Bidin’s deep respect for Garden Wall, arguably the most bizarre and original progressive metal band from Europe. Seravalle’s instantly recognisable demonic-sounding vocals contrast that of Sandron in every possible aspect. Each evil verse is followed by a clean-sung line in a whirlwind of slamming drum and bass battery. Although the Eldritch comparison may be a stretch, Pathosray is perhaps the only other Italian band in this style that can churn out such aggression without diluting melody.

    It is a shame that guitarist Luca Luison has left the band, for his powerful articulation during the brief yet effective sections may not be too easy to replace. The guitar solo on “Sorrow Never Dies”, for example, is truly expressive and a rare treat indeed.

    Tommy Hansen’s mix is great, but the recording done in Italy is definitely rawer and more in-your-face compared to, say, bands like Circus Maximus, Sun Caged, or Andromeda.

    This is a solid debut album from Pathosray. Hopefully they’ll follow it up with an equally great sophomore release soon.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now