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PATHOSRAY - PATHOSRAY (2007, SENSORY RECORDS) Marco Sandron - vocals
Luca Luison - guitars
Gianpaolo Rinaldi - keboards
Fabio D'Amore - bass
Ivan Moni Bidin - drums
Where has this band been hiding over the last seven years? Pathosray are playing an incredible progressive metal style. From Italy, these guys have taken onboard what their predecessors Eldritch, Rhapsody and Labyrinth have done, in terms of laying a foundation for the genre to flourish in the land of Pasta and Vino. Starting life off in 2000 as the band N.D.E(near death experience perhaps? Ed), it's taken this lot a few years to develop. But now they've been taken under the wing of Sensory Records - who are developing a reputation of signing some of the ultimate progressive metal acts in the business! We were blown away their 2005 signing Stride, and since then they've also signed Swedish prog/pomp kings Minds Eye and Norwegians Circus Maximus. All good stuff! Recorded in 2006, Pathosray deliver an intense and deep prog metal experience. The musicianship is all class, the songs are totally engaging and deeply melodic - amid the thunderous backbone of a metallic environment. Think along the lines of Kamelot, Dream Theater and Seventh Wonder, and you've got these guys sussed.
The band boast sharpshooter musicians all round. Vocalist Marco Sandron has some of the cleanest and powerful pipes heard from a newcomer in a long while. He is impressive - like a cross between James Labrie and Elektradrive's Elio Maugeri. Guitarist Luca Luison is another ace in the hole, though his recent departure from the band could change the shape of Pathosray's sound. One hopes not. Onto the album then.. 'Free Of Doubt' is a short introductory mainly piano piece, leading into the power-packed 'Faded Crystals'. Its blitz city for the first phase, a mid-section respite, topped by soulful guitar and keyboard solos. 'Lines To Follow' is classic stuff, in the sense we are listening to fast paced 80's styled metal on the verses, and a 'Fortune In Lies' inspired chorus. The rhythm section drives this one home real hard. There's a massive Dream Theater feel about 'Scent Of Snow', but Pathosray put their own touch on it. The whole thing is so melodic, there's an extended keyboard solo in there, while the vocal skill of Sandron is breathtaking. Mostly 'Sorrow Never Dies' takes a mid-paced approach, and is the 'rest-area' part of the album. It's not as if the band are sitting back taking in cups of tea on their musical journey, there's still steel and power in the delivery. With that out of the way, Pathosray dive in deep to the sinister and dark 'The Sad Game', which guests Alessandro Seravalle from bizarre prog metal outfit Garden Wall. Throughout this intense work-out, melody is never compromised. Phew, beyond that onslaught, the band bring it back to total melody with the brief but beautiful ballad 'In Salicis Umbra'. One of the band's earlier offerings 'Strange Kind Of Energy' gets a reworking here, as does 'Emerald City' - both from 2002, and both highlighting the quality of the material available to the band five years previous.
Pathosray have been asked to open Progpower USA IX which will take place in Sept 2008. That should be a good experience for the band - an invite like this doesn't come along every day. Where to from here for Pathosray? Onwards and upwards one would hope. A band this good would probably want to aim for perfection, and if a sophomore album is on the horizon, then sign me up for an advance copy! In 2006, Swedish band Seventh Wonder took top prize for as album of the year. With a few days to go, Pathosray are edging slowly to the top of the heap for 2007. They don't have much competition really. Staggering good prog metal which will get a power of listening over the holiday break. Turn it up loud!