Genre: Epic Power Metal
Label: Pitch Black Records
ARRAYAN PATH’s new album took me by storm.
I have been studying this band very carefully from their early demo days and to tell you the truth they never have disappointed me after… 8 albums. They always manage to keep their standards high delivering songs that are mainly based to the first class vocal melodies, the extraordinary guitar work and the overall atmosphere of their compositions.
But this time they really took it to the very next level delivering “Thus Always To Tyrants” an Epic Metal concept album that would stand proudly as a golden chapter in the book of their discography.
Why? Because the album is blessed with the most important feature that a record should have: The songwriting. I can assure you that in this one, ARRAYAN PATH have delivered some of their greater songs. They have actually focused on the mid tempo -and even slower- epic compositions based on those conquering vocal melodies. This is a formula that pretty much highlights the classic ARRAYAN PATH sound and actually reminds me a lot their first demo days and their debut album. But there is much more to be heard on the album: The faster pieces are riff based, leaving enough space for the lead instruments to generate some serious miracles. I also enjoyed very much all the preludes, the outros and the spoken parts on this album. Everything has been placed so wisely, serving the overall structure of a concept album.
Another feature that I would like to point in here, is the orchestration. The band must have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working on the orchestration of the new material. They have generated a perfect balance between the symphonic and -in many cases- neoclassical parts of their songs that are co existing with the overall ancient Greek, East Mediterranean and near-Eastern scales that are the basis of their music.
Favorite tracks? “The King’s Aegis…”, “The Battle of Cnidus”, “Artaxerxes II Mnemon “, “Raid of the Achaemenids”, “Army of the Myrmidons – Return to Troy Pt. II (Origins)” (which is a serious connection to the classic debut dmeo of the band “Return to Troy”). As bonus on the CD edition we got the magnificent “Ancient Winds” track. It was part of the sessions of the ‘Αρχέγονοι’ album and was made available by the band during a support movement for the fire – stricken people in Greece (during the massive fires of Greece in the summer of 2021).
With this album the band actually returns to the big trademark of their two historical demos –“Return to Troy” & “Osiris” and the debut album offering slow and mid tempo anthems under a mysterious and darkly shining musicianship in minor scales that has to be the main point in everything “epic” (in my opinion). Actually the band never went away from the above mentioned musical trademark always including such compositions on their later -more Power Metal oriented- albums -like for example the mighty “Ishtar” on their “Terra Incognita release-. They are simply focusing on their good, old origins, in their latest release.
This is an excellent album that should be heard in its entirety. Higher than the top songwriting, big melodies, huge choruses. It includes battle elegies that are shaping a grant opus. A classy record that really gives the absolute meaning to the term Epic Metal.