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Reign of Hathor - The Path Astray

Reign of Hathor
The Path Astray
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 July 2020, 2:07 PM

REIGN OF HATHOR is a two-piece instrumental Progressive Metal band based out of California. Formed in the spring of 2019, they had some challenges with the current pandemic to create their debut album here, “The Path Astray,” but it was release on June 30, 2020, and contains eleven tracks. “The Path” leads us off, a one-minute mood setting instrumental. Happy, positive tones come from the guitar, and a dreamy, airy sound. “Fear is Finite” is three minutes of heavy, thudding guitars, bass and drums, that follow a simple melody line. The Djent tones are subtle but present. Once the melody opens up, it really shines.

“Circles” is just over four minutes in length. It opens with clean and easy sounding guitar notes, with an air of mystery. Like its namesake, a circle is endless, and infinite. The guitar tones echo that statement…light at first, then heavy and accented later…and back and forth for the remainder of the song. “Theseus” opens with some spoken word about The Devil, followed by hard and heavy guitar chugs. Some nice melodies are worked into the song as well, in what would be a chorus if there were vocals. “Corpus” is a three-minute burner. It comes at you quickly, and with heavy Djent tones. Galloping drums carry this song forward along with a bit of experimentation in some lead guitar notes.

“Conflict” is barely over half-a-minute, begging the question, why include it? Because it is very pretty and helps to break up some of the heaviness of the Djent sound. “Puzzled” feature some nice guitar harmonies and background ambiance. But those heavy notes drop like asteroids out of the sky, slamming into the earth and exploding. “Onoma” opens with a mid-tempo groove, fueled by short heavy accents of guitar. This one will get your toe tapping for sure. The chord progressions are also fairly unique. As the album continues on, I am getting more and more of what they are trying to get across.

“Mepeth” opens with some eerie electronica, before the curtain drops and the guitar thuds strike hard. Djent music, by the way, is characterized by heavy guitar strikes and even some other effects like “scratching” the fretboard in a certain way to get a particular sound out of it. REIGN OF HATHOR mostly use the former, but some of the latter techniques are used here. “Transform” opens with an Eastern melody line and the steady ticking of a block. Weighted guitars come in underneath for a spell, and then carry the track forward with some programming lifted above.

“Astray” is a short one-minute closer, of absolute beaten and whipped sounds. Overall, I think with this being a new project, you can hear some rookie qualities here. But, that doesn’t take away from a strong foundation that they have room to improve on. Djenty-type albums can go one of two ways…away from melody, or embracing melody, and “The Path Astray” seems to be somewhere in the middle. My only real critique is that more intricate and sophisticated melodies could really go a long way in making their sound better. It’s good, but could be better. Still, for their first project, kudos to the guys for seeing it through and publishing it independently.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Path
2. Fear is Finite
3. Circles
4. Theseus
5. Corpus
6. Conflict
7. Puzzled
8. Onoma
9. Mepeth
10. Transform
11. Astray
Drake Plotkin – Rhythm Guitar, Drums, Programming
Eric Alexander – Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Bass, Programming
Record Label: Independent


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