ARRAYAN PATH – DAWN OF AQUARIUS (Pitchblack Records)

Review by Stefan: Formed In the U.S. (1997) by Nicholas Leptos and Clement Fung, first mentioned returned to his homeland Cyprus after a while. Started from there, the band called Arryan Path (of which the band recorded two albums) but they changed name to Arrayan Path as from March 2011. Including the brand new effort entitled “Dawn Of Aquarius”, Arrayan Path offered us four times in a row great Metal works !

This sixth album really delivers the goods in every possible way ! It’s a concept work about Kali, the goddess known from the Hindu mythology loaded with 13 excellent compositions, the sound quality reaches a very high level as a killer result of the band themselves. The cover artwork done by Stefan Heilemann looks fabulous, a fine interpretation of Kali herself. All the lyrics were written by the band’s founder N. Leptos, Arryan Path called on a number of guest musicians as well. The time has come to pen down my thoughts on the new songs, right !

“Dawn Of Aquarius” opens with an intro that has been played with an Oud/Yayli tambur instrument by  Christodoros Mnasonos, feels kinda strange to my ears but it reminds me of a sitar actually. Back in the hippie era, many bands used this instrument as well while smoking some pot but let’s skip to the real deal, ‘The Flower Born On Itself’ composition. Welcome to the Western Metal alliance I’d like to say, this first real song knocks me outta control right away. Power and heavy metal meet each other in a genius way with, in the first place, a big applause to the great vocal service of Nicholas Leptos and its over-the-top, world-class way of singing. Pure and strong, high pitched and melodic in the vein of Tony Moore (Riot era), Roy Khan (Kamelot era), at certain moments Mr. Leptos even reminds me of the great RJ Dio ! A great honor to be compared to such greats but it must and may be said.

Although, some of the songs have some grunt-esque vocals on board as well, to make the sound even darker I suppose. Another very attractive element to mention is the fact that both rhythm sections and song writing reach a high, professional level. Amplifiers humming while both guitar players play the strings of their instrument with the highest degree of full attention, followers of melodic/technical guitar actions are warned ! Finally some keyboard movements come to the scene also and as I’m not the biggest fan of key actions, those delivered from this band doesn’t bother me at all.

Wanna hear a real standout with a lethal epic character, you have to check out ‘The Hundred Names Of Khali Ma’ for sure ! Mighty song where the combination of both riffs and synth use reign supreme. And as usual it’s the frontman able to let roll shivers down my backbone. As mentioned before, this guy is a darn fantastic singer ! Throughout the entire 63 minutes running time, well inflated/up-tempo songs orderly interspersed with somewhat slower, darker songs like for example ‘Guardian Angel’. It feels dark, atmospheric, bombastic, melodic… I’d like to refer to the early days of Italian power metallers Rhapsody/Labyrinth…. vocals in a starring role for sure ! Last song ‘Garland Of Skulls’ is definitely a fave of mine due to its fast and technical guitar riffage, devastating/excellent drumming. The vocals on this song defies my imagination for real, once again. Dark, warm and melancholic type of vocal use alternation with high level shrieks… I will recommend those into US Power Metal to check this way composition as well !

There is no doubt about, Arrayan’s newest out “Dawn Of Aquarius” is a must-have product for people longing to hear something beautiful, something powerful and technical, something professional sounding music going from dark/heavy to power metal and from progressive to US steel. Global metal fans with a good ear for detailed musical skill should have ordered this masterpiece already, if not please check their label at: http://store.pitchblackrecords.com/  Additional band info at: https://www.facebook.com/arrayanpath/  For fans of early Kamelot/Rhapsody/Symphorce, Ghost Ship Octavius, Symphony X, Astralion, Darkology, Helker and the likes.

My rating: 91/100 (the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

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