Pathosray - Pathosray
Sensory Records
Progressive Metal
9 songs (52:37)
Release year: 2007
Pathosray, Sensory Records
Reviewed by Thomas

2007 was a great year for progressive metal with Anubis Gate, Symphony X and Pagan’s Mind among others that released albums struck with excellence. This one did however slip under my radar and then out of nowhere they popped up during an internet search for new bands to dig into. Formed in Italy in 2000, Pathosray is according to themselves one of Italy’s best kept secrets. They’ve released two demos, of which the last one received great press and shook the boundaries of the underground Italian progressive metal scene. Sensory Records (Circus Maximus, Spiral Architect, Zero Hour) instantly connected and picked them up shortly. Pathosray wear their influences with pride, and does nothing crucial to reinvent anything. But who needs reinvention when they know how to do it old school?

The band is strictly playing clever progressive metal with symphonic and power metal stylings, and can be described as a mixture between Dream Theater, Nevermore, and maybe Pyramaze. Sounds tempting doesn’t it? Well, it shall not be hidden that these guys are perfectly aware of what they’re doing, and the things they do, they do well. There are however room for improvement, as I feel they could push themselves even further and challenge each other even more when it comes to songwriting and using their skill to the uttermost. Other than that, I have nothing to point my finger at. Their songs are mainly built in the traditional progressive metal way with smart musicianship that includes odd time changes, clever keyboards, out-bursting guitar solos, symphonic elements and soaring vocals. As a matter of fact, if you’re a fan of Fairyland, their new vocalist Marco Sandron contributes with his flawless vocals here. His voice soars above everything else like an eagle scouting for prey on the battlefield. The guitars scours the battleground with their immense precision, while the rhythm work is galloping steadily ahead with entertaining twists and turns that’ll turn heads. The bass-work is reminding me a little of Andreas Blomquist (Seventh Wonder), although this is not as technically dazzling as the skilled Swede.

Cloaked in intelligent blasting riffs Faded Crystal kicks in and covers every aspect of what you love about this genre. Nice and twiddling piano melodies, inspiring vocal work, and an overall atmosphere that is as mysterious as the song-title implies. Intense drums and the slack bass backs up the remarkably strong vocals. The enchanting tones wander around with a light step, yet still dark and heavy enough to make your head nod in approval. The odd Suspyre-like Lines to Follow continues in the same vein as a swift touch of power metal is mixed into the beats before bursting into a magical chorus. The melodies and catchiness shows signs of a progressive metal band that for once isn’t hard to get into, and may prove as a good starting point for anyone newly exposed to this enthralling and advanced universe. The slower stuff here, like Sorrow Never Dies, is interesting enough, and not the kind of ballad you forget the second it ends. As I said, the guys in Pathosray know what they’re doing.

All in all this is a great release, and a debut they should be very pleased with. As I mentioned earlier, this is nothing original, and I can only hope that their new album will contain more musically challenging material, as they show clear signs of being capable of it. It would also be a nice to add a little something of their own, as this is more or less colored by the other big bands in the business. However, they’re having fun, and make songs that contains only minor cracks and flaws as some are more forgettable than others. As the biggest problem seem to be the somewhat flat production, the overall quality of the songs make up for it, and covers up that particular problem. Definitely recommended, and kudos to Sensory Records for picking up this gem of a band. Here’s to a great follow-up in 2009.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Faded Crystal, Scent of Snow, The Sad Game
Thomas quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Pathosray that we have reviewed:
Pathosray - Sunless Skies reviewed by Thomas and quoted 85 / 100
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