Sunless Skies


This band comes from Italy and -to my surprise- does not belong to the predictable […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
May 23, 2009
Pathosray - Sunless Skies album cover

This band comes from Italy and -to my surprise- does not belong to the predictable Power Metal scene. I say 'predictable', because almost all the Italian bands from this genre kind of sound like each other. Nevertheless, (and fortunately for me) PATHOSRAY play something different from what their ancestry commands; their musical identity can be briefly described as a fine blend of DREAM THEATER's (early) melody and NEVERMORE's down-tuned guitar heaviness. If reading the previous brief description piqued your interest, then your only choice is to continue reading to see where I am going with it...
PATHOSRAY was formed back in 2000 and released the debut and homonymous album six years later. This album was more than warmly received by the press helping the band build quite a reputation. Things started were moving quickly and PATHOSRAY found themselves with two brand new record deals (Frontiers Records and Soundholic Records in Japan), a new guitarist and after one year the album in question here, entitled Sunless Skies.
The album opens with Crown Of Thorns in a heavy way that justifies the NEVERMORE influences, with the rhythm guitars drawing influence from This Godless Endeavor. But that is not all here; the high pitched vocals and the solid Progressive Metal backbone unveils the band's potentials in full scale. The keyboards take the leading role under the shadow of Derek Sherinian and leave their place for the guitar leads. The sound described with these different influences becomes really interesting because it does not follow any pre-defined way and tries to squeeze through under the sign of an original sound. Ok, I have to admit that the Progressive part has an antecedence against the NEVERMORE heaviness but is definitely not something to complain about. The Progressive Metal head-start is mainly due to Marco Sandron's vocals that impressively lie in between James LaBrie and SYMPHONY X's Russell Allen mixing the power and the melody with a perfect agreement. The productions really shines here and PATHOSRAY owe big time to Tommy Hansen's work at the Jailhouse Studios who made the album sound crystal clear without losing an inch from the guitar heaviness. Aurora is the perfect example with the excellent vocal melodies and the yet again solid rhythm section. It is true that there are a lot to sink your teeth in, but not only due to the complexity of the compositions. After all, this is the ultimate 'turn off' for me to have a complicated structure that you lose track of where is the beginning and the end. No, PATHOSRAY have a lot to offer music-wise by keeping the main melody of the song and experiment laconically leaving aside the 'urge' for showing off. Sons Of The Sunless Sky is one my favorites introducing the hammond sounding keyboards and the 'out of this planet' atmosphere that I enjoy with all of my heart in the AYREON concept albums. Of course, I could not but comment on the eight minutes epos of Poltergeist that is actually the last track of the album since For The Last Time is the bonus track for the European release. Poltergeist is closer to the latest SYMPHONY X work (in the excellent Paradise Lost) where the Progressive sound gains some heaviness and speeds up a little. Here the killer sound production and the supporting keyboards take the song in a higher level. The mellow break with the classic guitar arpeggios is the perfect intro to the addictive keyboard lines and the guitar solo that tops things off!
So, PATHOSRAY continue with the momentum obtained with their debut and prove that it was not a 'firework' album. The band has strong potentials that justify 100% the decision of Frontiers Records to inked a deal with them! You should not have second thoughts here... but if you have pay a visit at the band's official  myspace page and realize how justice is my saying... Watch below some in-studio footage to get a glimpse of this album
 2nd album pre-production trailer

8 / 10


"Sunless Skies" Track-listing:

Crown Of Thorns
Behind The Shadows
Quantic Enigma
In Your Arms
Sons Of The Sunless Sky
The Coldest Lullaby
Perpetual Eclipse (Interludium)
For The Last Time (2009 version)

Pathosray Lineup:

Ivan Moni Bidin - Drums
Fabio D'Amore - Bass
Marco Sandron - Vocals
Gianpaolo Rinaldi - Keyboards
Alessio Velliscig - Guitar

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