The Pathway is the debut disc from Finnish metal band Anthriel on the Lion Music label. Being from Scandinavia and doing progressive power metal puts any band in immediate peril. This genre of heavy metal is quite abundant in their native region and worldwide and, therefore, requires that the newcomer either be very good at it from the outset or definitely bring something new to the table. Anthriel isn't really doing the latter as The Pathway blends elements of traditional and/or neoclassical heavy metal, power metal, and symphonic metal. There's nothing novel about this. However, from the gates, Anthriel delivers a strong performance, equal to their peers, as they integrate those elements.
Indeed the music is rather impressive here. Clever arrangements combined with captivating melodies and sound musicianship mark the entire album. Moments of heaviness are tempered with near feudal folk moments and ambitious soaring piano segues within songs. songs like Mirror Games, Guardian, or Dark Divided Minds march along with generous amounts of musical skill and technical intrigue in their compositions. Sometimes Anthriel can sound like a heavier and forceful Kansas as on Light Divine. Then the closer, Chains of the Past, fits into the epic metal category for the grandeur equal to the story that inspired the album, fantasy author R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy.
For first album, Anthriel's The Pathway is an ambitious, entertaining, and highly successful project. Fans of progressive power should pick this one up forthwith. Strongly recommended.