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Pathosray – Pathosray

Label: Sensory (A Division of the Laser’s Edge)
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba

Having been introduced to great bands over the past few years such as Pagan’s Mind, Circus Maximus, and Mercenary, I did not think another band would come along able enough to capture my attention like the above mentioned. I was wrong. Pathosray are an amazing addition to the world of progressive and power metal. I would say the band leans heavier on the progressive side of the fence but there is a lot of aggression present throughout this album that will draw in the Power crowd. Imagine combining the best elements of Nevermore and Symphony X in a blender, out comes a Pathosray protein shake full of muscle. Now in no way am I saying this band sounds exactly like Nevermore or Symphony X. There are traits of both bands but Pathosray fully stand on their own.

Hailing from Italy this band is a new force in metal ready to take on the world. Looking at some other bands from Italy you have Eldritch who put out good consistent albums but don’t really take it to the next level. You also have Rhapsody of Fire who, to me, have hit their peak and at this point are just getting more overblown with their music and do not bring the excitement they once brought to the table. Pathosray is coming out at a perfect time if you ask me.

The album opens up with “Free of Doubt” an introduction with piano work that sounds like it is being played in an empty haunted mansion setting the tone for the album. “Faded Crystals” kicks off with heavy double bass drums very aggressive as the sound of piano creeps back in. Marco Sandron’s vocals have some distortion early on something that would not be out of the ordinary to hear on a Nevermore album from Warrel Dane. This track is a roller coaster ride with ripping heavy guitars, mid paced hard rock, and slower passages with calm soothing keyboard. The eight plus minute track lets you know right off the bat you are in for one hell of an album. “Lines to Follow” has some amazing ripping guitar work mixed with a strong vocal delivery from the very first word. The style present here early on has me thinking Yngwie Malmsteen “Odyssey” era with Yngwie’s ripping leads and Joe Lynn Turner’s set of pipes keeping up with the heaviness (think “Rising Force”). Nice eerie keyboards are added in that paint an image of a ghostly figure along side a deserted lake in the middle of the woods at dusk. “Scent of Snow” is different with a bit of a happier sound. It is definitely a catchy song and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. “Sorrow Never Dies” opens up sounding like a track that could have been on the Savatage classic Edge of Thorns, a very atmospheric track.

“The Sad Game” is 9+ minutes of progressive genius, Dream Theater take notes… wow did I say that? Yes it is that good. “In Salicis Umbra” is a beautifully written passage bringing you into “Strange Kind of Energy”, another very solid track. “Emerald City” closes the album in a great way showcasing what was broadcasted throughout the entire album with outstanding melody, technical parts, and symphonic arrangements.

When is the last time I reviewed an album and found the urge to mention every single song? I don’t think I ever have. This album is that good. Pathosray could easily be the next big band in the world of progressive metal. I hope they follow in the foot steps of Kamelot and Symphony X and blow up across the world especially in the US. They will be making their US debut this fall at the one and only ProgPower 9 festival at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA. I know for sure that Pathosray will blow the roof off of the building and leave all of those prog/power maniacs wanting more. If you like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Jorn Lande, Nevermore, Fates Warning and Pagan’s Mind then there is no reason why you should not like this. In metal you have “the big boys” and the “followers/clones”. This band has shot right to the top of my list of who I consider “the big boys”. I am already excited for the bands second album. In the mean time this self titled debut will get way more than its fair share of spins. I do not see it leaving the player anytime in the near future.
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