Desolate Pathway: Valley of the King

desolate_pathway_valley_of_the_king_album_cover Label: Independent
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/07/2014
Band info: Facebook

The intro is some spoken words preparing me for battle, and this excites me like a good ole’ Manowar album. The album masterfully recreates parallel universes of both fantastical days of kings and battles as well as more recent times of classic doom!

Desolate Pathway was formed by Pagan Altar guitarist Vince Hempstead, and it rolls along as it should, in fine pomp! And maybe I’m getting old, but the vocals are nice and clean and I can hear all the words! God, I’m turning in to my dad!

The title track is slow and in vain, reminiscent of a Candlemass style. And we keep this Scandinavian feel for the next track, however, it’s not what I am expecting. There’s a surprise on track 3, something sounds Abba-esque on “Forest of Mirrors”, I listen to this and start humming ‘Money, Money, Money’, and it is driving me nuts!….and if you think about it, Abba had long hair, came from Sweden and with a hopeless lament like “I’m a Marionette”…..what’s more doom?! Anyway, I digress.

We pick up the tempo with “Season of the Witch”, and I am disappointed this isn’t the Donovan standard, however it kicks off with a cackle, that I honestly thought we were going in to the surf classic “Wipe Out”! But this track is excellent, it keeps up the pace and is a belter, and then makes way for a triumvirate of classic epic old school doom. “Shadow of the Tormentor” has a beautiful break with guitar lead and gentle backing rhythms and “Upon the Throne of Lights” gives us a finale of NWOBHM flair.

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