1349 - The Infernal Pathway review



Reviewer:
7.3

59 users:
7.64
Band: 1349
Album: The Infernal Pathway
Release date: October 2019


01. Abyssos Antithesis
02. Through Eyes Of Stone
03. Tunnel Of Set VIII
04. Enter Cold Void Dreaming
05. Towers Upon Towers
06. Tunnel Of Set IX
07. Deeper Still
08. Striding The Chasm
09. Dødskamp
10. Tunnel Of Set X
11. Stand Tall In Fire
12. Dødskamp [Norwegian version] [limited edition Digibox bonus]


Just when you thought the "Tunnel of Set" had reached its final conclusion, 1349 return with yet another offering of interlude-laced black metal. This time, however, the novella-like structure has been replaced by one that resembles an actual album.

As with all bands that continue creating new material after releasing their fan-ascribed magnum opus, it needs to be said that this album is not a return to "glory" nor is it an attempt at doing so. It shouldn't need to be stated at this point in 1349's career, but it's become common practice if only to fend off longtime fans expecting a full-blown carbon copy of the Hellfire days. The Infernal Pathway doesn't try to be anything other than what it is: a solid, if contrived, thrash-tinged black metal release. Nothing you haven't already heard before from the likes of Immortal, Taake, or Arckanum, but sometimes more of the same is exactly what people need. If only more of the same from 1349 meant reaching the same heights as any of those previously mentioned.

For anyone familiar with this longstanding quartet, you know exactly what to expect: technically proficient black metal played at blistering speeds supported by Frost's trademark chaotic precision and Archaon's near-impressionistic Kirk Hammett moments, scarce as they are. These guys rip and bang and shred and annihilate everything in their path as has been their modus operandi for their entire existence*, but they didn't forget to infuse their concoction with some spicy melodies (such as opening track "Abyssos Antithesis") and straight up rockin' grooves ("Striding the Chasm"). The latter seems out of place in this context, but these ears are open to partaking in that thing people call "fun" once or twice a year, and you can almost hear the smiles on these guys while they jam out and rip faces with another throwback guitar solo.

Another continued deviation from their earliest memories being hyped as the next big thing in the black metal scene is the production quality. Ravn's unique hellhound snarl and raspy growls are given just the right amount of complementary reverb to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the band, whose instruments really pack a punch. The bass gets lost at times in the mix but it's an insignificant blemish on the otherwise excellent post-recording side of things. If only more songs stuck out from each other and they dropped these completely unnecessary and disruptive interludes, all that fine work in the studio would have garnered more attention from metal fans across the spectrum. Unfortunately, since 1349 still seem to struggle with writing more consistently varied or immersive material, this project -- and album -- will ultimately remain on the outside looking in as longstanding and upcoming challengers look to take their place on the ladder. There's gold somewhere in all those talented fingers. It's just a matter of pointing in the right direction.

*


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 4
Production: 10


 



Written on 12.11.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 68 users
12.11.2019 - 07:58
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
I must be of the few on this site who really enjoyed Demonoir and liked the interludes that gave a proper breather for their brand of black metal that is often too fast and intense to justify too many tracks of the same style in a row.

I get the feeling I Will enjoy this one too. :p great review!
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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12.11.2019 - 18:08
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Mr. Doctor on 12.11.2019 at 07:58

I must be of the few on this site who really enjoyed Demonoir and liked the interludes that gave a proper breather for their brand of black metal that is often too fast and intense to justify too many tracks of the same style in a row.

I get the feeling I Will enjoy this one too. :p great review!

Thanks Rod

I find the interludes are a little too intrusive, especially when it's every other song. These ones didn't bother me as much as they were better spaced out but they literally added nothing to the overall feeling and only killed the album's momentum. That said, at least they built momentum this time.

I would personally consider this their best album since Hellfire, but that's never been a release I hold in the same esteem as some fans who call it a masterpiece of black metal.
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13.11.2019 - 06:03
Lord Slothrop
I got into 1349 a few years back, but for some reason they fell off my radar. I suppose it was because while I liked their albums, I never loved them. I'm curious about this one and might pick it up at some point, but I dunno... There's so much more out there to listen to and so little time.
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13.11.2019 - 17:30
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Lord Slothrop on 13.11.2019 at 06:03

There's so much more out there to listen to and so little time.

If you listen to the two songs I mentioned in the review that will save you the time of listening to the rest of them, which aren't nearly as good imo.
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13.11.2019 - 23:49
nikarg
Old Nick
I don't think the interludes work very well either, especially since the band went for a more thrashy bm album. Tbh I found it quite boring and I generally like thrash in my black metal.
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14.11.2019 - 01:24
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by nikarg on 13.11.2019 at 23:49

I don't think the interludes work very well either, especially since the band went for a more thrashy bm album. Tbh I found it quite boring and I generally like thrash in my black metal.

If not for the intro track and "Striding the Chasm" I'd probably rate this a full point lower. Between the interludes and repetition on display throughout, there isn't much else to hold on to. At least there were a couple tracks to keep my interest this time...
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I have no memory of this place.
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14.11.2019 - 01:42
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.11.2019 at 01:24

If not for the intro track and "Striding the Chasm" I'd probably rate this a full point lower. Between the interludes and repetition on display throughout, there isn't much else to hold on to. At least there were a couple tracks to keep my interest this time...

I agree, these two tracks were really good. But, given the fact that they had released "Striding the Chasm" before the album was out and we already knew about it, finding only one other noteworthy song was a bit disappointing. Not that my expectations were high, 1349 and I never really clicked for some reason.
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