Label: Stormspell Records; Symmetric Records
Once released, Warrior Path’s debut album (“Warrior Path”) gathered dithyrambic critics, as the audience enthroned it amongst the top power metal albums of 2019. This album whetted our appetite for the upcoming projects. It’s March 2021 and Warrior Path are marching again, following their trademark power/epic metal path with their “Mad King”. Mastermind of album’s concept and initial compositions is once again, guitarist/songwriter Andreas Sinanoglou, alongside with mighty bassist/gutitarist/keyboardist and producer Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Serious Black, Outloud). Listening to the album makes it clear; the debut’s fire is kept very much alive. Sharp axed lead guitar parts and fluent melodic lines are incredibly mixed with fatal riffing parts. In a way, “The Mad King” appears to have more power and speed than their first album, while maintaining its epic elements through the heavy and steady bass lines, and of course through lyric’s thematology. In the pounding drumming set stands Dave Rundle, while we do have the replacement of Greek vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos (Beast In Black) by the legendary by all means, Swedish, Daniel Heiman (ex- Lost Horizon, ex-Fierce Conviction, ex-Crystal Eyes, ex-Destiny, Heed). Ready for the upcoming attack I slip into the instrumental opener track that amazes via its musical diversity, not being the typical slow and atmospheric album intro. There’s a breathtaking dual guitar riff and a melody that grows within this track. There comes clean guitars’ touch, setting the medieval scenery that suits Warrior Path’s new album just fine. “It Has Begun”, heavy to the bone, with galloping riffing and great melodic lead parts, prepares the listener for the uprising battlefield. Brilliant vibrating riffs and powerful rhythm parts are profound in “His Wrath Will Fall”, “The Mad King”, and “Don’t Fear The Unknown”. I could not set aside the Manowarish (Defender’s intro atmosphere) “Avenger” where the silent spoken part, with a glimpse of swashbuckling somewhere in between, is followed by rapid double-kick attacks and a mind-blowing chorus part that keeps the energy constantly on its pick. “Savage Tribe” – my tribe, as it amazed me right from the begging with the blowing horn- is a heavy metal tutorial. Heavy, powerful, and epic, but at the same time revealing an outstanding atmosphere (Bob’s keys guarantee) there’s no doubt that this song stands out as album’s trademark. Stunning is the only word that can describe the musical scope, voice abilities and expressiveness of Daniel Heiman in last track of the album, the power ballad, “Last Tale”. Even the Artwork of the album is outstanding. Dimitar Nikolov (collaborated also with Steelwing, Titan Force and others) has done an excellent work once again bringing to life a scene from the Palace of the Mad King. Overall, the album is perfectly mixed and mastered. As an excellent successor of bands’ homonym, this album is more direct and fast paced, a total mind blower that speaks to our metal hearts.