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Old Path - The Coming of Eternal Dawn

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Have you ever started to doze off and they suddenly jerked yourself awake?  Then you started dozing again and jerked awake again?  Maybe you were in church?  Maybe at work?  Maybe watching one of those lame "reality TV" shows?  Well, listening to this Old Path CD is kinda the same thing.  But the thing is, whether your dozing or waking up it's not a bad thing.  Let me explain...
 
The front cover of this album says it all.  A dark mountain enveloped in trees with fog settling down creates an eerie atmosphere that is conveyed in the music within.  Old Path's debut The Coming of Eternal Dawn takes you on a journey that places you right in the middle of that snowy forest on that very fog-covered mountaintop.  A mixture of black metal and dark ambient create what lone member Hiram Lohr labels "ancient black metal".  The mood shifts back and forth from black to ambient, with some songs being completely ambient.  The ambient songs are perfect for soothing yourself to sleep (although I enjoy staying awake since this is some pretty good stuff).  But then you are jerked awake by the black metal that starts up amidst the calming sounds.
 
The vocals range from horrifying black shrieks to spoken passages, to whispers, to even some chanting.  Production is decent with the main annoyance being the fake wolf howls and the use of a drum machine.  That's the one thing that bugs me.  The dark feel of the album is very convincing for the most part, but the fake wolf howls are just plain bad.  Although, I'm not sure real wolf howls would have been welcomed either. 
 
Overall, an interesting experience that is very grim and very dark.  This is not a band ready to take over the world, but I really like the direction they are heading.  Here's hoping for real drums, much better production, and an even darker feel next time around.  It'd also be nice to have some lyrics in the booklet and song titles on the back of the CD case.  (Review by Matt)

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Ahem, ahem, ahem.... kkkkkkkkkkkkk kkkkkkkkkkk  Testing testing....  WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE????  Did mommy and daddy not give you enough attention when you were a child?  This sounds like some little kid decided to form a band after he had been playing a week.  He'd seen a horror movie and decided to try to write music like it was on there.  This is a sorry excuse for black metal.  I hear what the guy is trying to do however.  It's like he's trying to be as primitive as Ildjarn and Graveland, but this just reeks of dog maneur!!!  Sure it's primitive, but that doesn't make it good.  The vocals sound like he has hemerrhoid flareup.  Well, he calls this "Ancient"... how does this guy even know what ancient stuff sounds like?  He lives in CA.  What's so ancient about that??  The drums are very badly programmed and sound ridiculous.  The keyboards are way too loud to make any impact on what the guitars are doing.  The sound effects actually crack me up.  Sounds like he bought a halloween disk with the dark sounds and made use of them.  The funniest were the wolves.  I think elephants would have fit better there.  Is there anything I like about this you ask?  Well, I love the whispering vocals.  That is haunting and puts you in another dimension.  I also love how he put some chicks voice in the ending of the 1st song.  She has an amazing voice. Normally I hate that garbage, but it was put in the right place.  But the rest is a disgrace to anything black metal ever stood for.  I can't believe people would even buy this.  If you do, be prepared to have a headache.  I will say, at least he is on the right track.  But he still has a long way to go.  (Review by Biff Bartholemew)

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