I’ve been listening for the past two days to Sorrows Path and their most recent release (2014) Doom Philosophy. The band had approached me and while I had heard of the quintet from Greece before, I admittedly was completely unfamiliar with their material. At first glance, or first listen rather, I was immediately reminded of Candlemass and Doomicus Epicus Metallicus. I think the boys would concur that their music has its roots in acts like and alike the aforementioned.
The predominant underlying theme throughout the album is musicianship. Just like Solitude and Candlemass, Sorrows Path puts in a tremendous amount of care and diligence in their songs. There is no room for slack, everything is – as far as I can tell – perfectly timed and executed. And if you know me, you know how I typically feel about bands and artist whose material is a product of technical excellence – while I have deep admiration strictly from a musicality perspective, I lack appreciation for its ‘spirit’. I don’t want to elaborate further on this point. Because the good news is: at no point in time did I fell that Sorrows Path utilized this album as a platform to merely showcase when their capable to do in terms of songwriting, arrangement, execution and production. Quite the opposite, these aspects play an important role , however, just to put emphasis on articulation and to a more limited extent, to create a certain vibe or atmosphere.
To be frank, I am completely blown away by Doom Philosophy. It keeps growing on my the more I listen to it. I love the fact that the band managed to find a just the right balance of riff-slinging and story-telling. That in and of itself is a massive accomplishment. We already acknowledged the outstanding musicianship of the individual band-members and more importantly, as a unit and can tight-knit, super-cohesive band.
Below is a bit of history around the band which was provided to me by Kostas Salomidis, the man in charge of guitars. I encourage you to read it because the guys have come a long way and are doing really well. Also, at the end of this article you find a bunch of links to the band’s website, record label, merchandise and more.
Sorrows Path was formed by Takis Drakopoulos (bass) and Kostas Salomidis (guitar) back in November 1993. Both being inspired by bands like Memento Mori, Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass and shortly after Angelos Ioannidis (vocals) and Kostas Farmakis (drums) joined them, the band began rehearsing and composing material.
During 1994 and 1995 Sorrows Path performed live in several gigs that by that time were being held in local clubs such as Rodeo, An Club, Ston Aera etc. In the meanwhile, on January 1995 “Sorrows Path”, the band’s first demo, was released but shortly after that, Kostas Farmakis decided to leave the band (sometime in autumn 1995). At the fall of 1995 and while the band was in a search of a new drummer Takis Drakopoulos tragically dies of a serious brain disease leaving the remaining members numb.
After putting themselves together, Angelos and Kostas decided to continue with band and so after recruiting Stavros Giannakos on bass and Gregory Vlachos on drums continued rehearsing and performing live (Qualisound Festival, Rainbow Club, etc). The result of their efforts was a promo tape released in May 1996, simply entitled “Promo 96”, which was aiming in signing a deal with a record label. During the following year (1997) and after being in touch with record labels and promoters, Sorrows Path entered the studio to record some new material which was never released. In 1998 the band decided to take a break for about 2 years due to the mandatory military service that the band members had to undergo.
In the rise of the new millennium and while the band started to work again, Sorrows Path co-founder, Kostas Salomidis, was almost paralyzed because of a neck problem which was caused a few years ago by a devastating motorcycle accident. After 5 rough years of courage and pain, with medical treatment, family support, and with the help of God or Fate, Kostas partially recovered, being able to make some “noise” with the guitar! So in May 2005 everyone in the band was more than enthusiastic to the idea of rehearsing after 7 years of doom!
By the end of 2005 the band was back in action in order to catch up with the time lost all these years. Old songs were being rehearsed once again with new songs and were put together for future release. That was the time when Sorrows Path decided to release the re-mastered version of their first demo along with their ’96 promo tape.
In the meantime, some personal problems forced Gregory Vlachos (drums) to leave the band and on December of 2005 Fotis Mountouris replaced him. In the same month Sorrows Path agreed with Eat Metal Records in releasing the remasters.
On April 2006 Sorrows Path hit the stage after 9 whole years as the opening act for the Texan masters of Doom Metal, Solitude Aeturnus at Underworld Club, Athens, Greece. On the very next day the remasters were out from Eat Metal Records entitled “Resurrection”.
From that time and then, the band was back in full action…
For the next two years, the band spent time composing and preparing 12 new songs for public release. During that time Sorrows Path performed many gigs all over Greece, either supporting well known metal bands like Memory Garden, Pagan Altar, Scanner, Crystal Viper and Brocas Helm, or sharing the stage with some of the most popular Greek bands. At the summer of 2008, they entered Fragile Studios in Athens to record their new album with well known Greek metal producer, musician and composer Vangelis Yalamas (has collaborated with Duncan Patterson-ex Anathema and Joey Vera, Ray Alder from Fates Warning, plays and composes for Fragile Vastness and Jazzment Day), who also taking part in this album as a guest musician, playing synth and making some arrangements.
With the entrance of 2009, a new guitarist Giannis Tziligkakis (Ominous Sky – GR) joined Sorrows Path in order to fulfil the band’s vision for a solid and heavier sound that the new material demanded. From that time, the band spent many hours rehearsing in order to work out the chemistry between them. Some months later, they started testing their power on stage and by the end of the 2009 everything was ready! The recordings, mixing and mastering of Sorrows Path new album was completed! All the artwork and photography for this album has been made by the most important of his kind in Greece, Seth Siro Anton (Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Soilwork, Exodus, etc).
Having earned some propositions from record labels worldwide, Sorrows Path agreed with the upcoming German label Rock it Up Records to become the “mother” of their new baby, named “The Rough Path of Nihilism”. This new album was scheduled for release on the 29th day of October 2010. At the same time, the band closed some important lives in Greece and abroad to promote the new stuff, as well as their two release parties; the first in Karlsruhe, Germany and the second in Athens, Greece…
2011 was a year of very positive worldwide feedback for Sorrows Path album and their unique mixture of doom metal with power, gothic, progressive and oriental elements! The album was soon sold out and the band performed live with many important bands in doom and not only scene, like Isole, Forsaken, Sabaton, Rotting Christ and Sanctuary and after their successful participation at Up the Hammers festival in Athens on March 2012, they entered their home studio for the pre-production of their new album.
Very soon the band booked again Fragile Studios in Athens and they began the recordings of their second full length with producer Vangelis Yalamas. They were very pleased that the famous metal star Snowy Shaw (Memento Mori, King Diamond, Therion, Sabaton and more) liked their stuff and accepted to be guest vocalist on this album, along with the doom guitar master Edgar Rivera (ex-Solitude Aeturnus). The established logo artist Christophe Szpajdel (Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Moonspell, Arcturus and more) also was inspired by the band and honoured them to create their new logo!
By the end of March 2013, the recordings, mixing and mastering of the album plus a cover for Black Sabbath classic “Killing Yourself to Live” (released by Greek Metal Hammer magazine) were completed.
The band started rehearsing for the upcoming lives and after supporting Atlantean Kodex in Athens, they announced their new label and of course the title, the tracklisting and the guests of the upcoming album. The Berlin-based German label Iron Shield Records will release “Doom Philosophy” on September 12, 2014!
Doom rules eternally…