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Shadowpath – Rumors of a Coming Dawn (Reissue) Award winner

Shadowpath
Rumors of a Coming Dawn (Reissue)
by Rachel Montgomery at 30 July 2019, 7:06 PM

SHADOWPATH is a Metal band from Switzerland that derives its melodic work from a variety of sources. For this album, they’ve combined Symphonic and Gothic Metal influences to create a stunning, thematic piece. The “Prelude to Agony” is stunning with the rain ambiance and beautiful piano work. I think the vocals are a little excessive and I would have thought this were perfect had it just been instrumentals. It would have zeroed in the soft, intricate piano in the beginning and the pounding, heavy, symphonic riffs that came later.

Not that the vocalist is bad; she has good range, a nice, ethereal soprano with a powerful lower register as well. However, the first two tracks aren’t the best to showcase her voice. The second track, “Chaos Equation” has some nice harmonies and intricate instrumentals in the beginning. Then, she comes in with a high soprano which isn’t technically bad, but I personally find her higher register to be piercing. It’s not normally like that, only on this track, and it goes well with the ghostly, October theme of the song, playing well with the gravel-vocals later on.

Her voice on “Seed of Hope” is great, and I really enjoy the smoothness of it. I love the melodies and how they harmonize and play with each other. The piano ambiance here, and on the rest of the album, creates this wonderful ghostly atmosphere. “The Impossible Chain” is a 12-minute number that I wish were switched with the closing number. The song has closer written all over it: summing up themes, different melodies and movements that defines the album as a whole. I enjoy how each instrument joins at different times in the intro culminating in an eerie, low riff and how, for the first time on the album, the vocals begin with the gravel rather than the soprano. The piano is complex, featuring two different melodies in the first two minutes which entertains my ears.

Another Inquisition” is also long with a heavier intro and more electronic overtones. The melody with the soprano creates a haunting dissonance and the gravely vocals are a great contrast. There’s better interplay between the two vocal styles which I love, and the projection in the soprano’s lower register is good. “Deny Me” is my favorite vocal track because it showcases the soprano’s range amazingly, with a powerful lower register and ethereal high notes. The intro is a little too long, but other than that, it’s a great song.

For a Final Ultimatum” is unique since the overall synthesizer gives this song a different thematic flavor than the rest of the album. This track says galactic spaceship while the others say Victorian haunted house. The gravel gives it a heaviness that ties it into the overall gothic aesthetic. The soprano has beautiful range and the interplay between them is stunning. The final track, “Beta” is long, but again, I wish it were switched with the fourth track. I’m not a fan of the vocal technique in the key it’s in. It sounds too sultry for her voice, but that’s just a personal nitpick. I like it when it melts into the gravel, and I enjoyed the choral elements and the piano.

I could say the piano is the best part of the album. The ethereal themeing, the harmonies, everything plays so nicely together to combine into this hauntingly beautiful work. While there were some spots that were a miss, overall, it was a hit.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prelude to Agony
2. Chaos Equation
3. Seed of Hope
4. The Impossible Chain
5. Another Inquisition
6. Deny Me
7. For a Final Ultimatum
8. Beta
Lineup:
Simone Christina – Lead Vocals
Philipp Bohny – Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Samuel Baumann – Drums
Stefano Riario – Guitars
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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Edited 15 October 2019
 

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