Written by: PP on 27/02/2007 15:47:30

The promo sheet and online reviews can call Nostradameus power metal as much as they want to, but there is no going around the fact that Nostradameus' fifth album "Pathway" radically shifts the band's sound towards the traits of epic metalcore. Listening to tracks like "Until The End" or the two-part "MDCC a.d." bring into mind Avenged Sevenfold from the "Waking The Fallen"-era instead of Hammerfall or Edguy - the two bands which the band has previously idiolised. The riff structures are frighteningly similar to those on "Waking The Fallen", with plenty of hook-based guitars and massive open-ended riff masturbations about where vocalist Freddy Persson stretches his voice melodically in a way not too different from M Shadows. The solos are original but ah-so-typical for metalcore, but not bad in any sense.

In the midst of all of the songs, however, lurks the power metal ghost who hasn't been forgotten. Take "The Untouchables" for instance, carries the catchy metalcore hooks and shreds in the verses, but the chorus is unmistakably power metal, with massive gang-shout inspired melodic choruses opening the rather confined soundscape up a notch.

Unsurprisingly, this mixture is also the root of my undecisiveness over "Pathway". When you combine elements from two so far apart genres together, it's easy for them to get tangled up and cause 'Hey, this is awesome' moments, like the extended ultra-melodic singing and guitar work in the chorus of "Until The End", but shortly after leave you scratching your head and wondering what could've happened if that power metal influence was left out altogether, which the ending of "MDCC a.d. pt II" so well demonstrates.

"Pathway" isn't bad at all, because the epic metalcore moments scattered across the album are from the better end of that genre. Its only problem lies within those moments of confusion where you wonder whether the band wants to be a power metal or a metalcore act, as if there had been an internal struggle regarding the direction of the band and "Pathway" is the result of that compromise. If that's the case, why haven't we heard about it and why do the band dynamics seem to work so well on the record? Whatever the case is, if you ever found yourself angry at Avenged Sevenfold for leaving the sound of "Waking The Fallen" in favor of "City Of Evils", "Pathway" is a must buy for you.

Download: Until The End
For the fans of: Avenged Sevenfold
Listen: MP3 player on website

Release date 29.01.2007
AFM Records
Provided by Target ApS

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