ARTENSION in their original line-up. This most probably is the most remarkable on this album, titled "Sacred Pathways". Why? Well, because they barely leave the already trodden paths of their previous recordings, but rather seem to play safe on this one.
This means the amalgamation of Melodic and Power Metal, quite symphonic, with much space for the instrumental escapades of the musicians, especially, of course, of the sole song-writer keyboarder Vitalij Kuprij. Depending on your point of view this could be seen as positive or negative, but as I regard SYMPHONY X as one of my favourite bands I do rather tend to be in the first category.
Just that band is nearer to "Sacred Pathways" as ever before (or rather the other way round). Not that ARTENSION had changed their style (as mentioned above), but tracks like "Your Victory", the title-track or "The Emperor" remind me of the Americans around guitarist Michael Romeo. That they do not reach their class comes as no surprise, because SYMPHONY X are playing in a class of their own. Still fans of them should still find some compatibility to ARTENSION, not least because John West's vocals are a lot better than at ROYAL HUNT. My point of criticism, though, is that they cannot hold their high level over the whole album, but that there are a few fillers.
As the production, too, has turned out to be really good and the visual side gives you no room for complaints I can recommend "Sacred Pathways" to all of you, who already liked ARTENSION in the past or generally go into the direction of SYMPHONY X (or come from there) and all that could find the above-mentioned description appealing.