Iron Shield Records (2014)
This fascinating Greek band was founded back in 1993, inspired by prominent contemporaries such as Solitude Aeturnus and Momento Mori.
More than 20 years later, they have stayed true to the spirit of that heady time, creating deeply personal, individual music that is both heavy and emotional. It veers into glorious power metal at times, even touching upon prog-metal, but always returns to the warm bosom of doom; the eternal caress of woe.
It is clear that Sorrows Path have poured their hearts and souls into this bold, creative recording, which pushes the boundaries of what is possible within the much-derided epic doom genre. Keyboards expertly and tastefully complement the nerve-shredding riffs, and the synthesised support reaches epic proportions on the spectacular ‘Epoasis’.
But elsewhere, in their quest to push the album’s emotional scope, Sorrows Path include ideas that do not always work so well. The ghostly voice that appears on ‘A Dance With The Dead’ and ‘Everything Can Change’, for example, is intended to be evocative and sinister, but ends up sounding almost comically spooky, like a Scooby Doom soundtrack.
That aside, this is a seriously good album. Guests musicians include Snowy Shaw (ex-Momento Mori, King Diamond) and Edgar Rivera (Solitude Aeturnus), and that provenance is testimony to the band’s timeless devotion to the school of epic doom. Angelos Ioannidis’s vocals range from the delicate to the theatrical, his personality shining through as his voice soars and shrinks.
Since reforming in the mid-2000s, Sorrows Path have established a solid reputation for quirky and coercive doom that nods to the past but also boldly strides towards the future. The songs are packed with original, dramatic concepts, and even though these are sometimes tacked together in a way that makes the arrangements seem hurried and impatient, there is an underlying sophistication to the music, as well as undoubted technical excellence.
‘Doom Philosophy’ is not Sorrows Path’s grand opus – the Greek band’s masterwork is yet to come – but it’s a brave and accomplished step towards immortality.