Release DetailsLABEL Creator-Destructor Records
RELEASED ON 2/15/2006
On Paths of Torment
The Arsonist Plague EP
posted on 2/2006 By:
Of the EPs I sign up to review here and at various other outlets, only a handful make any kind of impact for me. A couple of years ago it was Through the Eyes of the Dead, and then Killing the Dream. Last year it was The Crashing Falcon, this year Time of Cholera has impressed me. And when you get quality EPs like those and The Arsonist Plague, wading through so much mediocrity makes it all worth while.
Hailing from the metal hotbed of Connecticut, On Paths of Torment are a death metal band; they have a melodic, thrashy lean and some may hear a metalcore torrent of dual harmonies, a few breakdowns, and some acoustic and spoken word vocals. Personally, I think the hardcore/metalcore element is understated and if I were to shove On Paths of Torment under a genre, it would be ‘melodic deathcore’. They don’t spasm and stutter a la The Red Chord or Despised Icon, but have the same deep vocal approach and technical proficiency. The songs are more fluid and melodic without being obviously ‘core’ based. Imagine if All That Remains or Invocation of Nehek had deeper, deathier vocals and more variety and pacing or Through the Eyes of the Dead had more melody and harmony. The comparison that immediately sprung to mind was Beyond the Sixth Seal (a side project of The Red Chord members).
With 6 songs and one experimental track, you get decent value for an EP. And the songs veer from the usual metalcore subjects again distancing the band from core values. The intelligently named and crafted songs like “The Patron Pattern” with its elegant acoustic segue, the somber opening and nice melodic chorus of “Arm the Blue Shift”, and the more metalcore-ish gait of “Wreath of the Coiled” all deliver stout riffage and clever piecing together of recognizable elements without culling too much from either or making this an obviously metalcore record. For example, there are no huge telegraphed, exaggerated breakdowns ala The Classic Struggle or The Hope for Change, instead more death metal based slowdowns. “There is Something Rotten in the States of Condition” has the nearest thing to a true breakdown. “The Age of Oak”, at over six minutes is an epic, sprawling track that proves that ADD riddled scattershot metalcore is not the basis for the band’s sound. The track builds and peaks with robust pacing and even with its odd use of gang chants, its deft solos and restrained gait make it a great track. Closing track, “Lie Will Follow” is arguably the EP’s standout with some superb dual harmonies glossed with death metal menace.
Even though the production could be a little less jumbled and the experimental track "The Nihilist in the Rye" is pretty worthless, this EP is highly recommended to fans of any bands mentioned but also to all metal fans without any sort of core blinkers on. Good stuff, and I hope they get signed to a label like Prosthetic or Tribunal and get a full length out soon.
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