The UK’s premier epic/doom metal act Desolate Pathway are digitally re-releasing their debut album Valley of the King on January 26th via Wormholedeath / The Orchard.
Led by former Pagan Altar guitarist Vince Hempstead, with Valley Of The King, Desolate Pathway picked up the torch first lit by the iconic Candlemass and Solitude Aeternus and crafted an intelligent, mournful masterclass from it. First released back in 2015, Valley Of The King favoured melody over sloth-like dirge, while treading a path enamoured with the past, both in concept and execution. The ghosts of the genre’s greats loomed large as the band regaled us with stories of medieval kingdoms, myths, legends and civil uprising – the kind of Medieval romp that can often sound passé but in Desolate Pathway’s capable hands conjured images of epic bloody battles, fought with passion, commitment and an undying sense of purity.
Forged with dense riffs and Simon Stanton’s haunting vocals – a glorious mix of Robert Lowe and Messiah Marcolin – Valley Of The King rippled with the sound of doom metal’s fundamental ingredients combined with a second-to-none atmosphere that planted you firmly at the castle gates, sword in hand, destined for battle.
The exquisite title track perfectly set the scene and as Valley Of The King‘s narrative progressed, each track added layer after layer of crushing doom as the listener was transported back through time, muddied, bloodied and emotionally drained.
Valley Of The King was a gem in 2015 and remains one now. 8/10