Reviewed: November, 2020
Released: November 27, 2020 Pitch Black Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
Arrayan Path is a name I had heard but I was not familiar with their work. Beginning as Arryan Path, they modified their name in 2011 as to not be associated with the racial term. The band was formed in 1997 in the USA by Cyprus native Nicholas Leptos before Leptos made his way back to Cyprus. Leptos also made a name for himself as the most recent vocalist of the legendary Warlord. Arrayan Path play European Power Metal with a slightly darker and heavier edge. Their seventh full length, THE MARBLE GATES TO APEIRON, will be released on November 27, 2020. Without hearing their past works, I’m going into this without any of their prior works to compare it to. The result is a rather good epic power metal album that actually shows that quality power metal still exists.
I have always been a fan of 90s European power metal. Bands like Rhapsody (before Of Fire), Labyrinth, Dragonland, early Sonata Arctica, etc. These bands took traditional metal and added pomp and even symphonics, at times, to add another dimension. The genre has a tendency to add some progressive metal influence as well. It seems the heavy hitters of the golden age of power metal went into either experimental directions, or they just ran out of ideas. The genre got stale! Thankfully, Arrayan Path are not afraid to bring back the power, the epic, and the riffs to epic power metal Too many bands went into this chugga chugga direction with heavy keys over it. Instead, THE MARBLE GATES TO APEIRON proves that power metal is about riffs and guitar wizardry and not just rely on symphonics to carry the songs. The album opener, and title track, is a prime example of just how Arrayan Path approaches their songs. After an intro that begins as a lone cello, choirs and more keys build until Leptos lets out a scream….let the riffs begin. It’s speedy, riff laden and has a lot of layers. A third of the way in it picks up with this killer traditional metal riff taking us to another part of the song…then just that fast we moved back to that infectious chorus. Leptos has the perfect power metal voice and he is truly the star of this show.
“Metamorphosis” kicks right in with an epic feel right from the start. While it begins very melodic and the keys are up front at times, the riffs are scorching, the chorus is catchy and then there is this shredding solo in the middle that breaks right back into that chorus. In contrast to the speedy songs, “Virus” starts as a mid-paced traditional metal tune until the middle when the speed and the epic choirs come in. Letpos actually sounded a lot like Fabio Lione on this song. More anthemic in it’s early approach, this tune builds to become mighty and shows how this band takes you through a journey on each song. These guys are not afraid to add some aggression and killer riffage to their melodic approach. “To Live Another Day” starts off with a crushing metal riff. They then they add the symphonic elements and instantly the whole dynamic changes. The guitar work on this album is just incredible. There’s dual leads as well as the neo-classical shredding one would expect on a power metal album. The seven and a half minute epic “The Cardinal Hour” is a prime example of just how this band adds layers to their songs to build into huge epic songs. Maintaining a mid pace throughout, they relied on their melodies and hooks rather than speed…and it paid off.
I am not sure why I had not looked into these guys sooner. I have always loved power metal but I had become disenchanted with what was being produced under that banner, especially by some of the bands that paved the way. Listening to this album actually made me love power metal again. I’ll be going back and digging into this band’s past catalog for sure. This is quality power metal!