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Arrayan Path - IV:Stigmata Award winner

Arrayan Path
IV:Stigmata
by Vasilis Odontidis at 30 May 2013, 4:50 PM

2013 has been a very productive year for the Cypriots Leptos brothers. After the highly acclaimed Power Metal album "Dark Gorgon Rising" with ASTRONOMIKON comes the fourth record with ARRAYAN PATH (former ARRYAN PATH) “IV: Stigmata”. Successor to the opus “Ira Imperium” (with the epic "Fall of Mardonius" being a fav in my playlists - though at some point I realized a strong reference to IRON MAIDEN's "Transylvania" in the chorus) it is put to the challenge of keeping up with a sequence of high quality releases. This time the band opted for a lyrically aligned story with Christian thaumatology heavily based on the Old Testament. “IV: Stigmata” unfolds in twelve songs beginning with "Clepsydra" (Hourglass). From the beginning the intentions of the band are crystal clear. Galloping riffs, intense double bass drumming, majestic orchestrations and epic stick-in-your-head vocals the way ARRAYAN PATH know to deliver. The band unleashes power metal hymns one after another and one could easily spot the first one in "Midnight and the First Born Massacre" that is just “bloody” brilliant. It is not only the excellent musicianship and the aggressive riffs but the extremely catchy and memorable vocal lines that utilize partial phrase repetition. Indeed there is quite a bunch of great songs but the other song that could easily be distinguished is "Harbingers of Death". With a killer opening bass line, heavy riffs and another set of stunning vocals, especially in the chorus, it is shining through the record.

ARRAYAN PATH use traditionally a lot of eastern elements, which are extensively used in “IV: Stigmata”, in songs like “Judas Iscariot” or “Pharaoh’s Wish”. Traditional Power Metal elements of the European (closer to the Teutonic) branch are also found throughout the songs which remind mostly of HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY but also RHAPSODY. As such the guitar riffs use a lot of galloping and the leads have that distinct Arabic touch, which is native influence since the roots of the band are from an island that is neighbor to those nations. The solos are exceptional, and one could expect nothing less from such a talented guitarist as Socrates Leptos. Original member Stefan Dittrich on the drums along with Paris Lambrou on the bass form a well-oiled battle machine that brings onslaught to the battlefield with its precision and dynamic presence. The keyboards by George Kallis while not being in the front are making the songs even more majestic and with the choirs are branding “IV: Stigmata” with the word epic in bold capital letters. Last but not least, Nicholas Leptos is giving a hell of a performance with amazing vocal lines and a perfect management of his emotions; other times sounding theatrical, other angelic and other harsh and aggressive.

Where most musicians would have failed with two releases in such a short margin, ARRAYAN PATH are just ignoring this, delivering a record that has nothing to relate to ASTRONOMIKON and yet managing to keep up with the great releases of the band. Actually it is way better than “Dark Gorgon Rising” or the previous material of the band as it more coherent and developed material. In fact “IV: Stigmata” with songs like "Midnight and the First Born Massacre", “Judas Iscariot” and "Harbingers of Death" or even the rendition of “Mystic Moon” from the band’s first demo show only one thing; that ARRAYAN PATH evolve and become more mature as individuals and as a unit and will surprise us even more in the future with their talent.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Clepsydra
2. The Bible Bleeds
3. Midnight and the First-born Massacre
4. Judas Iscariot
5. Stigmata
6. Cursed Canaan
7. Pharaoh’s Wish
8. Harbingers of Death
9. Disguising your Soul
10. The Storyteller
11. Mystic Moon
12. Charming Paranoia 
Lineup:
Nicholas Leptos – Vocals
Socrates Leptos – Guitars
George Kallis – Keyboards
Paris Lambrou – Bass
Stefan Dittrich – Drums


Record Label: Pitch Black Records
     


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Edited 04 October 2022
 

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