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Arrayan Path: Ira Imperium

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back on it, I was possibly (probably!) a little too keen to bestow greatness on Cypriot Power Metal band Arryan Path in my review of their second album Terra Incognito. I do however still think it was a far above average and pleasingly stretching release, although subsequent listens have dulled its impact ever so slightly. What has also helped me come to this conclusion is that with album number three Ira Imperium, (which also finds the band adding an extra "a" to their name to avoid the over the top accusations of Nazi-isms hence they are now Arrayan Path) this band have upped their game considerably, bringing a more mature, considered and eclectic outlook to their chest beating music.

Revolving round the Leptos brother, Nicholas on vocals and Socrates on guitar, Arrayan Path have taken quite a step forward with Ira Imperium, bringing an altogether more thought provoking approach to their already impressive aggressive style. This allows the band to stretch out their ideas and (possibly with an eye on how successful the likes of Myrath and Orphaned Land have been in recent times) to also bring themes and instrumentation to their sound that have more in common with traditional Cypriot music than it does Power Metal. Importantly though, they have also ensured that the album still has more than enough strident Metallic bombast to appeal to their core audience. Whilst Arrayan Path have neither the immediacy, nor overtly in your face keyboard style of the likes of Pagan's Mind, there are many parallels to be drawn between the two bands, with Arrayan Path also being able to blend punishing riffs, molten rhythms and full on vocals, with a more restrained, considered and almost commercial vibe. It is however "Kiss Of Kali" which finds this album bringing some musical influences from their homeland into this music, although they do celebrate their culture through the lyrics right across this album. Don't be frightened off though if it is something more straight ahead that you seek, with thundering drums leading the clarion call of guitar barrages across the rest of the album, although strings and Operatic vocals also make the odd appearance in some of the songs.

Ira Imperium is an album which should announce the arrival of Arrayan Path as a band capable of challenging the more celebrated acts in the Power Metal genre, both in terms of their ability to deliver completely convincing, atmospheric, yet heavy music and also with how well they add the complexity and drama that bands such as Therion do, with such skill. With bands like Arrayan Path, Myrath and to some extent Orphaned Land, there are exciting times ahead for the Power Metal genre.

Track Listing
1. Dies Irae
2. Gnosis Of Prometheus
3. Ira Imperium (The Damned)
4. Kiss Of Kali
5. Katherine Of Aragon
6. 77 Days Till Doomsday
7. Emir Of The Faithful
8. Hollow Eyes Of Nefertiti
9. Amenophis
10. Lost Ithaca
11. I Sail Across The Seven Seas
12. The Fall Of Mardonius
13. The Poet Aftermath

Added: November 28th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pitch Black Records
Hits: 2755
Language: english

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