I had never heard of PATHS OF POSSESSION prior to receiving this album for review. Needless to say, upon listening to the third release, "The End Of The Hour", I was distraught that I had never heard this band before. How had I missed such an awesome band in all of my research and networking? In the end, it doesn't matter how I had seemingly overlooked this band, but how amazing their latest effort is.
"The End Of The Hour" is a Melodic Death Metal romp from beginning to end. There is a sensibility to the album that many Death Metal bands fail to achieve. They are able to write catchy songs without sacrificing their Death Metal roots often. The second track, “The Ancient Law” is full of bass line grooves and drum swing that make the song work. It’s not fully dependent on sheer heaviness or speed. This is a quality that PATHS OF POSSESSION utilize on this album quite often. Not all the songs are in this vein but quite often parts or sections of tracks are. PATHS OF POSSESSION are not afraid to twist things up on this album. They add a lot of unique grooves and melodies to their Death Metal bases to create interesting songs. Often this reminds me of later CARCASS that was so controversial.
It never hurts to have a Death Metal icon in the band either. Legendary George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher holds vocal duties and his contribution to PATHS OF POSSESSION cannot be underscored. I didn’t realize it was him until I was doing research for this review and that says something. Instead of just throwing out his brutal roars, he diversifies his vocals into different pitches and screams. At times he sounds similar to that of a Thrash Metal vocalist and he pulls away some pretty intense sections of vocals. If you are a fan of CANNIBAL CORPSE, this album may shock you. This isn’t the normal George Fisher here; this is a wider and more diverse vocalist.
I think it is also important to point out that “The End Of The Hour” is also a concept album. This is something that the Death Metal genre has a tendency to avoid despite the sheer epic-ness that a concept album can create. It’s not the most detailed concept (a man becomes a demon essentially) but the band was striving to have a story to tell which is something fairly unique to Death Metal. And something I think worth giving them credit for.
PATHS OF POSSESSION aren’t your ordinary Death Metal band. “The End Of The Hour” incorporates different melodies and rhythms to really make this somewhat of a unique release. Along with a conceptual story and some band member credibility – I would say that this release is one of the best Death Metal pieces to be released in 2007.
Songs to check out: “The Ancient Law”, “Pushing Through The Pass”, “The End Of The Hour”.
(Online November 4, 2007)