When it comes to the Polish scene, many fans inevitably nourish a genuine respect towards certain names like Vader
and many other extremists. Because Crystal Viper
âs heavy metal strive is by no means match for the smashing artillery of their aggressive countrymen, the newcomers Pathfinder
decided to join their contingent with a debut album which was more or less of a âblind shot in the darkâ, to use their own words. Hardly did the band expect this shot-to-nothing to cause such a huge impact on the admirers of the neoclassical power metal, not to mention an eventual prognosis of âthe debut of the yearâ. Nevertheless, if thereâs a candidate out there worthy enough in order to raise its claims over all others for the top position in such a chart, thatâs âBeyond the Space, Beyond the Time
â. Beginnerâs luck? Not even close. Because itâs an absolute bliss for the ears, sincerely open, detailed and professionally realized. And with a hell lot of Music.
The Magnificent Six
is yet to bear the burden of comparisons, but for good or bad, they are inevitable here. Pathfinder
may not be DragonForce
, but the guitarists Gunsen and Mania often tend to aim for the light speed space jams of the fury Herman Li. Theyâre not Blind Guardian
in order to pay tribute to their own favorite fantasy classics and shape them in flourishing, complex records. Theyâre not even the new Rhapsody of Fire yet (despite they want to be), but after a year or two we might just as well witness the logical successors of the Italian symphonic masters in their Polish colleagues. The first studio album consists of every representative of the exemplary power metal style which features lately started to fade away under the endless pressure of the ephemeral bands. And if you dislike melodies, coming straight from the heart, string-key attacks, majestic symphonies and orchestrations, or letâs say youâre just an anti-fan of the genre, do yourself a favor and donât read this review further. The rest are certainly aware of what lays ahead â an imaginary flight away from any mortal bonds through a conceptual story situated in the bandâs fabulous ideas, delivered via unique soundtrack following the example of the aforementioned grandeur formations.
If you think the works of Edgar Allan Poe canât cope well enough with Beethovenâs music, film score themes from movies such as âThe X Filesâ and ideas from âThe Time Machine
will show you how exactly wrong you are in about an hour or so. The story of the protagonist begins with slight âPirates of the Caribbeanâ/ Irish elements from the introduction âDeep into that Darkness
PeeringâŠâ with a clear soprano voice rising over a background of sublime symphonies before the real deal âThe Whisper
Rocksâ rushes in with a firm unison between keyboard and guitars. Ever
since the very start itâs clear why the instrumentalists admire the master skills of Luca Turilli
, to whose style they often look up for an inspiration. The Moonlight
Sonata from the prelude gives way to âPathway to the Moon
â with a tremendous work by the guitarist Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius
). Itâs namely there where the main character leaves his mortal body behind and the actual adventure finally sets on in his never-ending dreams, shaping the music around that sweet, steadfast neoclassical power metal for which weâre all ready to sell out both heart and soul. My personal champion, âAll the Mornings of the Worldâ, sets in with crystal clear melodies, moving lyrics and chorus, performed perfectly by Szymon Kostro in a way, reminding of the vocal lines from the last Dark Moor
album. A merry-go-round of endlessly alternating guitars and orchestrations mark the evil spirit of âThe Demon
Awakensâ and the striking ballad âUndiscovered Dreamsâ â a vocal duet with the soprano Agata, crowned with a sublime choral chorus and a violin, repeating the beautiful melody for one last time.
With the record advancing, the songs get longer and heavily charged, no matter if weâre speaking about âThe Lord
of Wolvesâ, the progressive digressions in âSons of Immortal
Fireâ or the jewel âStardustâ, ferociously escalating with a lot of instrumental work, complex guitars and vocal interpretations based on a theme from Mark Snowâs infamous âextraterrestrialâ soundtrack. âDance of Flames
â offers one last chance to get a breath of fresh air before âTo the Island of Immortal
Fireâ and the 10-minutes long homonymous composition in which we can hear the voice of Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth
) and the cosmic keyboard of Bob Katsionis
). Just like the entire album, the song proudly bearing its name is being constantly diverted with long solos and outstanding vocals, chasing away every thought of monotony far away in advance. The time machine brings us back under the sound of the outro âWhat IfâŠâ, which links ideally to the introduction and embraces everything in a delicate, yet logical sequence â something more common for a high-class progressive album.
A flying debut start with an innovative level close to the freezing point, yet still worthy of the hopes and expectations of many people out there if they feel at least a bit open towards power metal. The uncompromising music in âBeyond the Space, Beyond the Time
â doesnât even leave a chance to wonder âwhatâs new hereâ, but we speak of a sub-genre, deprived of unused opportunities long time ago already. The scariest thing is that Pathfinder
seem to have really found something more than just fiction between the pages of H. G. Wellsâ novella, for thereâs simply no other explanation of how 70 minutes full of music pass as if in one instant.