Chariots, tridents, tumultuous seas and all-powerful gods are the order of the day on Desolate Pathway’s latest doom metal release and the overarching subject of Greek deity Poseidon (perfect doom metal fodder incidentally) provides ample inspiration for an album overflowing with epic soliloquy’s and suitably crushing riffs.
A truly classic doom metal experience, Of Gods And Heroes washes over you with wave after wave of chest-crushing sounds and noticeably improves as the album progresses. By the time you reach track 5, “Into The Realms Of Poseidon”, the album goes on to deliver a tour de force of traditional doom metal and it’s just a shame that the preceding 4 tracks don’t quite match the highs that follow. But hey, that’s a minor quibble when discussing the album as a whole. Incidentally, “Into The Realms Of Poseidon” is monumental, the most thrillingly rewarding retro doom metal track we’ve heard in years and acts as the perfect centrepiece; if Desolate Pathway could construct an entire record that matched it we’d be talking album of the year material that’s for damn sure!
Ironically, Of Gods And Kings isn’t as desolate as 2014’s debut album Valley Of The King, the nautical influence offering a more bracing experience and one that embraces the time honoured doom metal tradition of breaking the dirge with bursts of up-tempo riffing. This may be a relatively predictable formula but why fuck with something that works!
As always, Desolate Pathway fully immerse the listener in their vividly paint world that positively drips with atmosphere and conjures vivid imagery of gods, monsters and all manner of sea-dwelling mythical beings. This world-building is the key to Of Gods And Heroes’ success and while Desolate Pathway don’t care to swim against the tide of tradition, they offer enough in today’s climate to warrant a lofty position in doom metal’s hierarchy. With Of Gods And Heroes confidently navigating doom metal’s sacred waters with one eye on the past and one eye on the future, Desolate Pathway’s importance to the sub-genre has been cemented. 8/10