The Clearing Path – Watershed Between Earth And Firmament (Italy, 2015)

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Within the realms of our World of Metal, there are many things that go together seamlessly. Like Metal and beer… and for those a little older, like myself, there’s denim and leather. But Black Metal and Post Hardcore? I don’t think so.

I have to admit that I hit the play button before doing any research on The Clearing Path. So both Holy Waters and Sacred Mountain were pleasing to the ear, in a Black Metal meets a bit of jangly atmospherics kind of thing, with the latter track being a better listen as it’s more ferocious in nature.

My only reservation so far is that this may be a Christian album, and I’m only basing that on the song titles and the album title. Mr Google never gave me any answers, so the jury is out on that one. But as an Atheist, it may well end up being a problem for me.

And then we reach track number three, Goddess Aura. It starts off as a snarly burst of vitriolic Black Metal and then the whammy arrives…. Clean layered vocals emerge and the song drifts into Alice In Chains territory, but all the while the Black Metal elements are still firing on all cylinders. I have to say, after my initial shock, the song has grown on me with repeated listens.

It was after this that my research began. And I can tell you that this is a one man project (from Italy) and for a debut, this album is astonishingly well crafted. Personal tastes aside, there’s nothing to criticise here, particularly in terms of performance and production.

Anyway, after a gentle interlude, My Wild Goose Chase rips along and it’s probably my favourite song on the album, even the mellow chorus and gentle outro are pleasing to the ear.

The chilled vibe is carried on into the album closer, This River Will Carry Me Towards The Grandest Light, and grooves are very proggy in nature. And I’ll have to presume that the drums are real and not programmed, so good is the playing and feel. But for me, the song doesn’t really fit and it sounds like it’s a different band and that this song belongs on a different album. As a standalone track I wouldn’t criticise it at all, but in the context of this album, it bears no relation to Metal, never mind Black Metal.

So the finale’s a bit of a letdown, but the journey before it was surprisingly enjoyable.

Tracklist:

  1. Holy Waters 04:23
  2. Sacred Mountain 03:46
  3. Goddess Aura 04:50
  4. Atop The Throat, My Glance Cautiously Surveys The Depths 02:08
  5. My Wild Goose Chase 04:41
  6. This River Will Carry Me Towards The Grandest Light 09:42

 

 

Label: Avantgarde Music
Websites: Facebook | Bandcamp
Release Date: 11th July 2015
Reviewed by Steve

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