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Arryan Path - "Terra Incognita" (CD)

Arryan Path - "Terra Incognita" CD cover image

"Terra Incognita" track listing:

1. Cassiopeia
2. Molon Lave
3. Terra Incognita
4. Open Season
5. Ishtar
6. The Blood Remains On The Believer
7. Elegy
8. Angel With No Destination
9. Minas Tirith
10. The mind

Reviewed by on October 29, 2010

"Power metal fans will enjoy getting lost in 'Terra Incognita.' "

On "Terra Incognita," Arryan Path takes a musical journey through the epic styles of power metal heavyweights like Iron Maiden and the late, great Ronnie James Dio, sprinkling in hints of Led Leppelin's "Kashmir" and Middle Eastern influences. It's epic metal that touches base with mythology, history and literature, if sometimes hitting a few too familiar themes.

I have to say that it's quite unfortunate that the band's name will no doubt deter a lot of listeners. Their label, Pitch Black, has a statement in the press kit for the album explaining that "arryan," with a double-r is a type of flower, and that the band has nothing to do with Nazism or racism in any fashion. In listening to the album, there's no evidence of racism in the lyrics.

These Greek rockers aren't afraid to mine their own country's history and mythology, with "Molon Lave" telling the story of Spartan King Leonidas' and his 300 men's struggle against a vastly superior Persian army at Thermopylae (see the movie "300" or read the vastly superior graphic novel for an interesting telling of the battle). It's the best song on the disc, with Nicholas Leptos delivering just the right amount of operatic heft in the vocals, and his brother, Socrates, delivering a superb guitar solo. "Cassiopeia" has its roots in Greek myth, as well.

The band, especially keyboardist Geroge Kallis, adds an excellent North African/Middle Eastern vibe to "Terra Incognita," while "Ishtar," with its jangling sitar opening takes us closer to India. "The Blood Remains On The Believer" features a soaring chorus that reminds me a great deal of Ronnie James Dio, mixed with Maiden-style guitars.

On the other hand, there are a few too many tracks that feel a bit generic. I'm sure it comes as little surprise when a power metal act decides to tell some Tolkien, as Arryan Path does here with "Minas Tirith," and tracks like "The Mind," "Angel With No Destination" and "Open Season" have a "power metal 101" feel to them, with little to distinguish them from each other.

Still, Arryan Path makes more right turns than wrong ones on this disc. Power metal fans will enjoy getting lost in "Terra Incognita."

Highs: "Molon Lave," "Ishtar" and "The Blood Remains On The Believer."

Lows: A few too many generic tracks like "The Mind" and "Open Season."

Bottom line: An enjoyable power metal disc with a few too many predictable songs.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)