Arrayan Path – IV: Stigmata

Arrayan Path
IV: Stigmata
June 10th 2013
Power Metal
Released via Pitch Black Records

 photo stigmata_zps81db9299.jpg

Melodic epic power metal sensation “Arrayan Path” (formerly Arryan Path) return with their new, fourth album, entitled “IV: Stigmata”. The band’s previous three albums have received ecstatic reviews and ratings making it into several “best of the year” shortlists by various media. Two of these albums have been shortlisted for IMPALA’s European Independent Album of the Year Award. All this can only mean one thing of course and that’s one highly anticipated and very promising new album.

Clepsydra

Once the very good sounding heavy intro is out the way of way, Nicholas Leptos comes in on vocals and the song gathers a fast, heavy pace with a very resonant guitar solo in the middle from Socrates Leptos. Furthermore, with George Kallis on keyboards adding in the sound of a choir in the background throughout most of the song, adds another level of depth. I find this to be one of the better opening tracks I’ve heard on an album for some time now.
The Bible Bleeds
This song has a heavy intro with strong backing from the guitars and drums. The vocals once again I find very good with the delivery clear and precise. To my mind his voice reminds me a little bit of Tobias Sammet of Edguy and Avantasia fame. I like how the song talks about wanting the break the spell the bible has come to put on a lot of people. I like how this song seems to ask is the bible really your ticket to heaven? Is it really the word of god? With another pleasant sounding guitar solo towards the end of the track, followed by more well written and well-rounded vocals, this track picks up right where Clepsydra Left off.
Midnight and The First Born Massacre
This song has a much slower opening then the last two tracks and it has a gothic feel to it. As you might have guessed from the tile this songs is about the event of Passover and the plagues that descended down onto Egypt. Once the pace of the song begins to pick up again its curiously catchy repeated use of the words “rip my heart to pieces, pieces” got stuck in my head for a while afterwards. The chorus of “midnight, midnight our lives will end midnight” was another reiteration that got stuck in my head. The song is put together very well, Nicholas Leptos is once again stunning on the vocals and every other member of the band sounds outstanding.
Judas Iscariot
A strong opening to this song sounding very Egyptian for the first few bars, before falling into a melodic tempo with very powerful vocals yet again. This song like “Midnight and The First Born Massacre” has a very catchy chorus (which I promise you will get stuck in your head!) before slowing the pace and coming back with the Egyptian sounding intro again, swiftly followed by a blistering solo mid way through, which is probably the best sounding one on this album by far before some more epic vocals and that catchy chorus rounds out the song.
Stigmata (the title track and longest one on the album) provides a more calm and relaxed opening before finding that melodic pace again. There’s some decent progressive work through the first verse and chorus. Adding to that is the haunting choir once again, backed by a sweeping little instrumental part where the choir sound is used very well and just gives the song a total atmosphere of its own.
The vocals then come back in with the song, still keeping that entrancing melodic pace and sound, while adding in backing vocals which work well within the song. From the lyrics it I’m guessing that this song may be about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the punishment he suffered before being nailed to the cross itself. Again another well put together song however the song does however spend a full 1 minute and 20 seconds slowly fading out with the haunting choir sound which in my opinion is a little bit too long even for a power metal band of this calibre.
Cursed Canaan
It’s at this point in the album we encounter a few much shorter songs. A slow but dramatic opening before the song kicks into a faster tempo. To my ear this song sounds like a more standard power metal track talking about wizards and other such power metal related things that you find in every power metal song these days. With the exception of some decent sounding guitar work in the middle there’s nothing that makes this particular track stand out.
Pharaoh’s Wish
Pretty good sounding intro and once again (as throughout this whole album) the lyrics are outstanding with Nicolas Leptos’ bittersweet tone of voice. He really does display how, with his powerful vocals, he conveys to the listener a general atmosphere of heart-wrenching melancholy. Further more this song is another catchy one with a middle section you could happily do some form of jig to if you wanted.
Harbingers of Death
The bass and drum combination to start this track off makes for an interesting change insofar that you can hear the bass for once. More well paced and melodic sounding stuff from the band add to the guitars sounding very effective in this track. The chorus of the track is my personal favourite part mainly again due to how amazing the vocals sound. Although this track does seem a bit more experimental than other tracks on this album, they still manage to make it sound truly outstanding.
Disguising Your Soul
A surprisingly different sounding opening to this track, a lot slower in pace but it picks up again fairly quickly. Lovely work with the keyboards on this one alongside the still fantastic sounding guitars. The sound on this track has a slight 80’s feel to it, mainly in the solos but it works well as it has done on previous tracks on their earlier albums. This is carried over into the haunting choir sound in the middle which slows the pace again which I liked a lot. Add into this the still breath-taking vocals from Nicolas Leptos and it all just works to bring the track together nicely.
The Storyteller
Another longer track with this one. I have to say that it wouldn’t surprise me if this track ever ended up on a film sound track it has such an atmosphere to it. A good build up at the start before coming in with the drums, it plods along nicely into the first chorus, where again the adding in of backing vocals works really well. As the track progresses to the middle part it brings in another very memorable guitar solo to coincide with some epic sounding screaming, then just before the track is about to end it shifts entirely to be left with the sound of a solo playing acoustic guitar for a few bars. Then the drums come crashing back in again for the final time to bring this track to a climactic and thrilling end.
Mystic Moon
This song is a re-recording of the opening song of the band’s first demo. A beautiful fast paced intro and some well-timed screams and brutal sounding guitars build this up very nicely to allow Nicolas Leptos to come in and move the song along. It carries on into the chorus with more amazing vocal work on top of thunderous guitars this track is another epic track by these guys. It’s a little bit of a shame it’s a re- recording but that still doesn’t take way from this track as a whole. However this has strong overtones of another standard power metal song but the songs title does make the band DarkMoor come to mind as which is no surprise considering both bands sound alike at times.
Charming Paranoia
Well here we are the final track out this truly amazing album.
Some haunting keyboards again give the song a very strong atmosphere, which sounds a little like a Nightwish intro very soft and magical. The addition of an opera singer joining Nicolas Leptos on vocals gives it a new dimension which only helps to build up how really magical and moving this track becomes. The more it goes on, and the orchestral sound throughout is really awe inspiring. A very poignant way to bring the curtain down on this outstanding album.

There we have it then ladies and gentleman, a truly brilliant album by a truly brilliant band. Nicholas Leptos has one of the most powerful and commanding voices I’ve heard out of any front man for a very long time. Its tracks such as Midnight and The First Born Massacre, Clepsydra and Charming Paranoia are where the album is really shined through. If you also factor in the guitar work by Socrates Leptos and some of his fantastic sounding solos he did on some of the tracks. Then also add in the other member of the band they all do there part and help tie this album together nicely.

There’s only one possible score I could give this album

5/5
Luke “GothicSpike” Smith

3 Responses to “Arrayan Path – IV: Stigmata”

  1. […] Arrayan Path – IV: Stigmata (valkyrianmusic.com) […]

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