Arrayan Path - Dawn Of Aquarius

Arrayan Path - Dawn Of Aquarius

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(CD, Pitch Black Records, 2017)

The following album presentation could easily fit in a single sentence; ARRAYAN PATH have met all of my expectations by creating another killer album and a powerful successor to “Chronicles Of Light”. That’s it; there is nothing more a metalhead needs to be convinced to get his hand on this Heavy Metal with broad strokes of Power Metal album titled “Dawn Of Aquarius”. In fact, I was really excited getting an advance digital copy of the sixth full length LP by the Cypriot band having in mind how awesome “IV: Stigmata” and “Chronicles Of Light” turned out to be.

“Dawn Of Aquarius” is a concept album about the Hindu goddess Kali, so having this in mind, the Oud-based intro of “Equilibrium” makes absolutely sense welcoming the Eastern breeze before unleashing the Metal. Yeah, expect to get the classic Power Metal build-up and feel your blood start pumping harder and harder as the double-bass drumming and the fat rhythm guitars set up the foundations for the amazing vocal courtesy of Nicholas Leptos. This guy has some serious pipes and he is using them with all cylinders firing roaming his impressive singing range passing all the Power and Heavy Metal quality checks with flying colors. Be prepared to get some Kiske early days high pitched goosebumps during the fists-in-the-air chorus and then dive into KAMELOT’s past during their Khan era. Yeah, he is that good and if you are not convinced yet, you should check the climax of the song with the pompous orchestrations where Nicholas hits the higher notes like it’s the easiest thing to do. Even though Power Metal seems to be the leading genre here, a closer study will reveal some Progressive Metal finishing touches in the vein of the latest SYMPHONY X albums and that also means that “Dawn Of Aquarius” has some dark moments. Ok, “The Flower Born Of Itself” may stand on the happy side of Power Metal, but still, darkens things a bit with the absolutely awesome guitar riffs and I will draw your attention the headbanging break following the solo.

The melodic side of ARRAYAN PATH is equally powerful with the faster songs and “Dark Daughter Of The Snake” during which Nicholas lowers his register a bit and enhances the dramatics of this one while the keyboards touch upon the Progressive Metal elements I was talking about. And speaking of dramatics, then the award goes to my album favorite “The Hundred Names Of Kali Ma” which is soaked into this Eastern type atmosphere. The moody and almost dark second half of the song is what made me hit the repeat button lots of times before proceeding; there is a melancholic thread running through these parts as they back up the lyric line Nicholas keeps repeating as the music fades out. The theatrical atmosphere steps forward with “She Who Is Primordial Wisdom” that sounds dark and evil in a KING DIAMOND way (especially during the lower register and almost spoken lyrics) even though the epic backbone still keeps the band on the Power Metal side. Once again, the Eastern scent is here through the keyboards, the backing vocals and the symphonic arrangements in the background. Speaking of an Eastern atmosphere, “Cremation Grounds” would be the perfect occasion to prove how successfully ARRAYAN PATH have captured this in this song. The vocal lines here will send shivers down your spine as they match the Yaylin Tambur melodies drawing with the most vivid colors ancient and sun-scorched sceneries of some long-lost and forgotten world. “The Eleventh Mantra” keeps the same atmosphere going but with a faster tempo stepping on more traditional Power Metal territories reminding once more the Khan-fronted KAMELOT (again) and that is as good as it sounds. Oh my, the riff somewhere in the middle of the song will blows me away each and every time.

I have no idea if the album is a successful representation of the concept, simply because I need the lyrics in front of me to give me the whole picture. What I do know is that “Dawn Of Aquarius” features 13 killer songs serving different flavors as the album floats between Power and Heavy Metal without the listener taking notice of the transition from one to the other. Albums like this one make it impossible to make the end of the year 'best-of' lists and this is one of the reasons I like them. Invest with eyes closed but with ears wide open.

P.S.: “Garland Of Skulls” is the last but definitely not least in the song-list... the fast tempo with the dominating bass line and evil-sounding back vocals drop the album’s curtain on the highest of notes.

10/10


Links:

www.MySpace.Com/ArryanPath
www.FaceBook.Com/ArrayanPath


Tracklist:

01. Equilibrium
02. The Flower Born Of Itself
03. Dark Daughter Of The Snake
04. The Hundred Names Of Kali Ma
05. So It Shall Be Written
06. She Who Is Primordial Wisdom
07. Dawn Of Aquarius
08. Cremation Grounds
09. Empress (Reality Of All The Threes)
10. Lotus Eyes
11. The Eleventh Mantra
12. Guardian Angel
13. Garland Of Skulls


Lineup:

Nicholas Leptos - Vocals
Socrates Leptos - Guitar
Christoforos Gavriel - Guitar
Miguel Trapezaris - Bass
Stefan Dittrich - Drums
Kikis Apostolou - Guitar (session)
Huseyin Kirmizi - Keyboards (session)