Greek metalers Sorrows Path are classified as doom metal but listening to their satisfying new album The Rough Path Of Nihilism, they cover a lot more ground than that. Certainly their core is a slow and deeply plundering dark hearted wrap offering despair, demise, and death, but it is fused with some fine gothic, heavy, and power metal traits to make for a fully engaging and captivating release. Though not a ground breaking album sound wise it has a heart and strength which sets it apart from many other similarly driven releases.
The journey of the band to this point has been fraught and marked by tragedy. Formed in 1003 by Takis Drakopoulos (bass) and Kostas Salomidis (guitar) with the shared inspiration of bands like Memento Mori, Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass, the band grew to a quartet with vocalist Angelos Ioannidis and drummer Kostas Farmakis. 1995 saw the band playing plenty of local shows as well as the release a well received demo. That same year also saw first the search for a replacement on drums but also tragically the death of Drakopoulos of a serious brain disease. Shell shocked the remaining pair eventually resolved to carry on and with a new line-up continued to gig and went on to record material though it was never released.
Mandatory military service put the band on hiatus for a couple of years in 1998 but on its return to performing disaster struck again with Salomidis almost becoming paralyzed because of a neck problem caused by a devastating motorcycle accident a few years before. Five years of pain, courage and determination followed as he began the road to partial recovery and being able to play his guitar once more in some capacity. 2005 saw the band finally rehearsing again, working on old songs and writing anew. The band after another line-up shift released their remastered first demo along with the ’96 promo tape they had recorded to try and get label interest, through Eat Metal Records as Resurrection. Shows continued at pace and in the summer of 2008 the band entered the studio with known Greek metal producer, musician and composer Vangelis Yalamas to begin recording what was to become The Rough Path Of Nihilism.
With a current line-up of drummer Fotis Mountourism, bassist Stavros Giannakos, and guitarist Giannis Tziligkakis alongside Ioannidis and Salomidis, Sorrows Path released the album through Rock It Up Records and their long journey to their first true debut album was over, a rewarding release for all it is too.
Opening on the warm ambience and acoustic/voice introduction of All Love Is Lost, the album draws one in immediately, though not with the sound initially expected. It is a gentle caress with a heated atmosphere to revel in which eventually evolves in to an emotive insurgence with spears of gothic metal and a doom laded breath. The perpetually shifted start sets one up perfectly for what is to come, the song itself a slow burning pleasure which excels further with every listen.
Not every song hits the spot due to personal tastes but all left a captivation in their wake and an invitation to return which will not be declined. The likes of the destructively thrilling Dirty Game, with its twisted groove and infectious tease, the magnetic Mr. Holy, and Queen Of Doom, a song of shadowed seduction, wash the ear with skilful and impassioned invention, each unpredictable without straying from its obvious intent. The best song though is without doubt Prostitute, another gothic lined track which prowls with a wanton heaviness and taunting air. With scorched yet sultry guitar play lighting up its dark corners the song sears itself upon the senses and mind, a lingering wickedness to endure time.
Sorrows Path captures the imagination throughout The Rough Path Of Nihilism and will no doubt reap the rewards for their strength and determination over the years from their very satisfying release.
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