Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Get into: Path of Debris
Inspired by Pavel's post on Kvelertak, I've been inspired to talk about what I see as a sort of sister artist to them- albeit one from the mid-'90s rather than the more modern era of metal. I'm talking about Path of Debris, a German melodic death metal band that no one in the world but me gives a shit about. There's no reason to, honestly- their first album is totally obscure, and their second album only has any recognition due to being released on Crash Music (or maybe it was Pavement back then), known purveyor of all shovel-worthy bullshit in the metal scene. I have to say, though, despite its Pavement affiliations, despite its dumb title, despite its intro where the word 'unicorns' is actually uttered, 'The Eyes of the Basilisk' is actually an unbelievably good album.
Path of Debris is basically a late '70s/early '80s heavy metal/hard rock band in melodeath drag. That's all there is to it. The primary influences here, despite the double bass and the growling vocals, are Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, and other bands from the same styles of music. Well, those and the first Amon Amarth album, which sticks out as a significant influence, which in and of itself is practically a rock album in metal drag! You can see it all over this music: the simple chord progressions for riffs, the equally simple leads that perpetually go overhead, the restrained yet propulsive drumming, verse/chorus song structures- it's incredibly simple music when you get down to it.
Simple- but not simplistic. There's a difference. Path of Debris' music is pretty straightforward, but it's also elegant and remarkably well structured- there's no room for bullshit or instrumental vanity. It's refreshingly straightforward because the band hasn't left themselves any time or room for anything but what is essential to the songs themselves. Of course, this being good relies on the core elements of the music being good, and they're fucking great; the riffs are burly and muscular in the traditional metal style, the drums are propulsive and engaging, and the vocals are even remarkably gripping in a manner most death vocals aren't. The whole package is astoundingly balanced and agile. I only wish more melodeath sounded like this.
You can grab the second album (the one I own) for like less than a dollar on Amazon, so you really have no reason not to pick this up immediately. If you like extreme-edged metal that hearkens back to the traditional days of the genre, it's a mandatory purchase. If you want to hear something that's catchy and abrasive without being fucking gay like Dark Tranquillity, it's a mandatory purchase. If you like good music, it's a mandatory purchase. Honestly there's no reason you shouldn't own this album right now if you like any of the good things about metal.