Pressure - Path of a Shadow
Self released
Melodic Rock/Metal
15 songs ()
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

It took me a while to dig up research on Swedish Pressure. The power trio, vocalist Olof Jonsson and twin guitarists Simon “Siirpo” Forcell and Emil Salling (who is on bass guitar and drums I am not really sure), plays the combination of melodic rock/traditional metal, but would like to be known as “story metal” since their debut Path of a Shadow is basically an intricate concept album with twists and turns. Every song is a story within the story, the whole narrative delivered from the viewpoint of your shadow constantly present and following you around, telling stories about how you deal with life’s pressures. Interesting and ambitious concept.

The first “song” though, the title track, is a hardly a song. What you get is 11+ minutes mixture of Rhapsody scope & ambition (without orchestration), Brocas Helm riff (a single one playing throughout), Manowar disposition (because the band tries to project strength) and Jaldaboah pompousness (because the whole thing sounds frankly a little ridiculous). Overlayed on top of this is a spoken vocals narration throughout, which is a shame, given Olof Jonsson vocal ability demonstrated later on. If this is what’s called “story metal”, I am not a fan. I would rather read a fantasy book, hell, even flip through a Conan comics, but Path of a Shadow the song is an opportunity wasted.

Fortunately, Pressure doesn’t continue in this vein, and the rest of the album is full of short catchy rocking tunes. Interestingly enough that many songs here are present with both English and Swedish lyrics, the rest of the song, musical arrangements and all being totally indistinguishable. Not sure of the thought process here, maybe to tell the story in two languages? Why some songs are present in Swedish only is then uncertain. The band just ran out of studio time or English translation ability?

Enough about the album structure, however. Vad Du Ser (Ar Vad Du Far)/What You See (Is What You Get) is solid gruff epic metal, with simple chording riffs and hooky chorus, where Olof Jonsson shows for the first time he can both sing and do evil speak. Ingen Som Hor Dig/No One Can Hear You is also simple serviceable metal/rock, whereas Osarbar/Untouchable hits the territory somewhere between ZZ Top and stoner rock, the tune having a smiley buoyant sunny outlook. Nere Men Inte Dod/Beaten but Not Dead is a total central hit on the album, the chorus has such a sticky penetrating hook you will be singing it for a while. Bass lines drifting on their own, melodic lead, the band was right to turn Beaten but Not Dead into a video clip. Annu Mer is a happy stomping rocker with a drinking folky riff, and Komm Her also could come out from a slightly drunken troupe, given its gang vocals delivery. A rock album is incomplete without a ballad, so Var Ar Du Nu/Where Are You Now serves as one, where Olof Johnsson turns to a velvety scratchy delivery, and the song can be even measure a girl seducer or locking up shoulder to shoulder at a soccer match swaying with other fans trying to support your favorite team. Guitar hero lead is very appropriate here, so the album ends well with Where Are You Now.

Not sure if Pressure is after more of their “story metal” image, but they would have been better served to keep things simple and just play melodic rocking metal, the style for which they obviously have talent.

Killing Songs :
Beaten but Not Dead, What You See (is What You Get)
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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