As well as featuring members of bands such as Enfold Darkness and Inferi, Oubliette also have a member of the always impressive Battle Path in their ranks. Oubliette are a somewhat different proposition than the expansive post-metal of the guitarist’s other band, however. Continue reading
Blæck Fox present us with 15 minutes of layered blackened gloom. Spread over two tracks, Blæck Fox bring the darkness with enviable ability. Continue reading
Battle Path’s latest album Ambedo sees the band expanding their sound into wider arenas, creating an extremely enjoyable 47 minutes that improves upon their already impressive earlier work. I managed to have a chat with the band about their latest release and its place in the grand scheme of things…
How did Battle Path form?
Battle Path formed out the ashes of Murfreesboro band Under the Earth. It originally started as a drone project with Casey, Todd, and Nathan, very shortly afterward Chase and Adam joined, and that is how Storm and Stress was created. After time, Chase moving and Casey having an injury that prevented him from drumming, it evolved into what it is today. Continue reading
After two extremely gratifying releases, Battle Path are back with a slight change in direction. This time the band have shifted to a more experimental version of their sound, adding keyboards and synths to create expansive songs with an increase in atmosphere.
The blackened bile is still here though, it’s just now wrapped up in a Progressive Metal coating that gives it quite a 70s sheen in some ways, although not properly of course as they didn’t have Black Metal back then. But if they did…
The crushing Doom is still here too. It’s also swaddled in atmospherics that makes everything sound grander and more epic than the band’s previous work. It’s heavy, emotive and devastating.
In reality, of course, there’s no clear delineation between the Black Metal and Doom aspects, with everything flowing and merging together quite nicely. The band have merely added to this already potent cocktail with keyboards/synths, as well as some Post-Metal influences here and there, reminiscent of Cult of Luna, (as embodied on the instrumental title track, for example); in some ways the band are mirroring Cult of Luna’s development into more experimental pastures that offer a wider, more expansive musical scope. Battle Path and Cult of Luna don’t really sound like each other though, it should be stressed, but they do seem to be on similar journeys in some respects.
Vocally we get harsh, blackened screams for the most part, although these are added to by some bowel-shakingly deep growls on occasion. These are used relatively minimally compared to a lot of bands, with the music being allowed to do the talking for the most part, even when the serrated screams are ringing out.
With this album Battle Path have improved and progressed on their already impressive sound and have produced an album that shows a band truly coming into their own. The added progressive elements have enhanced and improved their core delivery so that Ambedo is a truly wonderful listen.
I loved Battle Path before this, and it seems that I love them even more now.
They play Blackened Doom and do this extremely well. The first track Before the Altars of Necrotic Karma starts with towering slow riffing and alternates this with a more mid-paced attack that evokes murky landscapes and a blackness to get lost in.
Vocals alternate between high shrieks a la Black Metal, and deeper growling and vocalisations. These are quality vocals as the deeper ones sound really menacing and the shrieks, (the predominant style), are savage and as sharp as black ice. Neurosis-style clean vocals are also used sparingly and contribute to the grim whole.
I really like the mood that these songs set for the listener. Although it may describe a bleak and inhospitable environment for the average person, for the connoisseur this is the sweetest of delicacies. The combination of monolithic Doom guitars with a scything Black Metal sheen to them is a dark pleasure to savour.
Taking the blueprint of Doom and infecting it with the corrupting influence of Black Metal is yielding great results for bands like Usnea and Battle Path; now we have another name to add to this glowing list of honors – Upyr.
A top quality first release and may there be many more in the future.