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sabato 22 aprile 2017

Path of Desolation - Where The Grass Withers

#PER CHI AMA: Melo Death, Dark Tranquillity
Although theirs sounds more like a monicker for a doom or a depressive black metal band, the guys of Path of Desolation are far from those styles. Coming from the Swiss city of Lausana, this melodeath quintet (at least, they were a quintet when they recorded this album) has been playing since 2013, and they had their first studio experience with their 2014 EP 'Soaked Jester'. 'Where The Grass Withers' is their first LP, and is a more than a decent demonstration of melodic death metal, in the vein of Dark Tranquillity, with their heavy use of synths although lacking the clean vocals. The album shows all the other elements that we’ve come to associate with this genre, like the Maiden-esque riffs mixed with more thrashy ones, nice acoustic guitars and the use of more traditional song structures. Everything is in the proper place, and the band shows that they’ve have studied every trick known in the “Gothemburg’s Guide To How To Melodeath”. The problems with the album start to show when you play it in full a couple of times. For example, the production lacks some strength, sounding clean and nice but kind of generic, and although there isn’t any truly bad song, it’s hard to point out real standouts. Nevertheless, this isn’t really a tedious album: singer David Genillard delivers great death growls and there are a couple of nice moments in this album, like the opening “The Crown and the Empty Hall”, the piano in “The Hunting Prey”, the featuring of Anna Murphy (ex member of fellow Swiss folkmetallers Eluveitie) in “The Uninvited” or the mixing of acoustic guitars and electric guitar melodies in “Exit Nightmares”, a nice closer for the album. But this is an album that prefers to use what it’s already known to success than trying to capitalize in its unique traits, which isn’t really a bad thing: we all like to watch action or horror movies, even if there are a lot of storytelling tropes that we’ve seen a hundred times and maybe more. But sometimes the repetition of elements will only appeal to fans of that particular genre, as it’s the case with the debut LP from this Swiss band. Having said that, Path of Desolation have the potential to release truly great albums if they manage to develop their strengths, which they’ve, and find a sound that they could call their own. (Martin Alvarez Cirillo)

(Self - 2016)
Score: 65