Despite having been in existence for the best part of two decades, “The Rough Path of Nihilism” is only Sorrow’s Path’s second album. Having endured several tragedies and setbacks in that time, the Greek doomsters finally seem to have pulled themselves together, gotten themselves some decent backing and are now reaching beyond the confines of their native country and casting their spell worldwide.
Drawing on the influence of, amongst others, Candlemass “TRPON” is awash with cast-iron anthems that doom fans will instantly latch onto, from the slow-burn of opening track ‘All Love is Lost’ to the catchy hard rock of ‘Dirty Game’ and the closing ‘Nihilism’. Singer Angelos Ioannidis‘ rich vocals come from the same place as Candlemass’ Robert Lowe, although his voice on ‘Mr. Holy’ sounds more King Diamond without the high-pitch squeals. Occasionally, though, the band to play with a few vocal effects, giving tracks like the otherwise unremarkable ‘Queen of Doom’ an extra edge. Elsewhere, the ultra-heavy ‘The Beast (S.P.R.)’ is the best track Danzig never recorded, the pinched guitar lines fitting in with the choral backing and double-bass pummelling creating an early album highlight.
The production on the album is very good, although in places it could do with a little beefing up; there are certain points where you would expect a big crash only to find there isn’t one, but overall it brings out all the instruments adequately and really shows off the tight rhythm section. The album also boasts excellent artwork from Seth Siro Anton (Exodus/Paradise Lost) that ties in with the band’s doomy themes, so you’re really getting thoughtfully worked out package.
If there is a criticism with the album it’s that you could probably tick off all the band’s influences as you go through it, but as long as the band can keep up the momentum then they have the talent and ability to transcend that trapping and begin to weave their own identity on later releases. And based on this release, that defining masterpiece could be a couple of albums away. They’re not quite there yet but they are heading in the right direction.