Italians Astral Path are a new name on the melodic death / progressive metal scene, and Ashes Dancer is their debut album. This eight-track release really injects a breath of fresh air into the melodic death metal scene. That’s not to say that this is another Amon Amarth-alike sounding band; in fact I could not really find much that makes both bands sound alike. From the traditional melodeath elements to the signature Gothenburg sound, you’ll find the finesse and execution of the album will most likely make their way into your music library pretty soon thereafter.
After a 2-minute instrumental and atmospheric intro “Journey,” Ashes Dancer continues with “Blinded” which leaves a gashing mark on your ears. Very refreshing, the energy is genuinely vivid. Lots of double bass, speedy tremolo style riffing, excellent vocals; the group could not have chosen a perfect track to begin this ravenous journey. Might I add the rumbling blast beats too? For those looking for the mentioned Gothenburg sound, check out the following “B.L.C.” I would describe this track as a mix of Dark Tranquility meets Opeth meets At The Gates. Very carnivourous riffage, unforgiving vocals, backed by an ambience pretty similar to black metal. Overall, a bolstering chapter in the album. A personal favorite, “Ashes Dancer,” is a wonderfull melodic tuned carried with Eugene Yu’s voice, who makes transitions between clean and growl vocals with ease. A thunderous foundation lures the listener deeper into an unholy light, the vocals gets very bloodcurling at this point. Keeping things true and thrashy, this is about as direct as the album gets.
Ashes Dancer promises to bring forth a dark and discarnate attitude. With extremely well executed instrumentals that push the adrenaline factor into the senses, the album will capture and ensnare the listener and bring them down to ecstatic sinister bliss. While that is said and done, more solos could have been implemented, but this is just personal preference. Once you set foot into Ashes Dancer it will be virtually impossible to leave/escape. Consider yourself warned.