In their long career, Sorrows Path have faced several adversity and tragedies which kept them underground, and even forced them on hiatus, for more than a decade, but in 2010 they finally released their debut full-length album – namely, The Rough Path of Nihilism, and, I must say that it has been worth the wait.
Drawing on grandeur and melancholy, Sorrows Path deliver massive and epic doom metal akin to the music of Solitude Aeturnus and While Heaven Wept, and – not only that - The Rough Path of Nihilism is also quite progressively inclined, and there are several instances of lushness in sound, at times even bordering on the symphonic. In addition, there is a very fluid dynamics to the entire album which makes it a very pleasant listen, actually. Moreover, Sorrows Path make use of several Eastern and Oriental sounding elements – perhaps an inspiration from Solitude Aeturnus or perhaps derived from their Greek cultural roots – and, consequently, a further progressive element is the exotic feel that there is to many of the tunes on the album.
Most of the tracks are kept at a mid pace with a couple of heavier passages and, while heavy enough to qualify as doom metal, there are never any really slow and bleak moments on The Rough Path of Nihilism - but the overall melancholic atmosphere that characterizes all doom metal is there. Like Solitude Aeturnus and While Heaven Wept, Sorrows Path make use of power metal elements (I've even seen the band labeled as a "progressive power doom" band), which, of course, go extremely well with the overall epic feel – and which are, to some extent, even constitutive of this epic feel.
The musicianship and the song writing skills reflected on this album are those of experienced and skilled musicians, and the only thing that might be hard to swallow is probably Angelos Ioannidis' quite unique vocals. Personally, I like his singing, which is very expressive, but I can imagine that some listeners might have to give the album a couple of spins to get used to it.
The Rough Path of Nihilism is a massive and epic doom metal release with plenty of progressive elements, and it should appeal to fans of Solitude Aeturnus, While Heaven Wept, Altar of Oblivion, and Candlemass.
1. All Love is Lost
2. The Beast (S.P.R.)
5. Dirty Game
6. Mr. Holy
7. Getting Closer
8. Queen of Doom
10. Hymn of Differentiation
11. Empty Eyes and Blackened Hearts