Pathosray Pathosray

Of all the subgenres of metal, none get looked down upon in quite the same way that progressive metal does. Just the linking of those two words together implies silliness and overwrought musicianship to all but the most diehard of dedicated metal heads. With images of Fates Warning and Dream Theater dancing in their heads, most run the other way. This is something that is unfortunate, especially when it comes to bands like Italy’s Pathosray. Together since 2000, after a bunch of demos the band have finally unleashed their debut album through the Sensory label, itself home to some of the best prog metal bands of the past decade, namely Spiral Architect and Zero Hour. While this Italian combo are not nearly as proficient as Spiral Architect (really, who is?), they do an admirable job moving back and forth between fantastic ’80s riff fests ("Lines to Follow”) and more traditional prog fare ("Faded Crystals,” "Sorrow Never Dies”) and carve themselves a nice niche between Symphony X and early Dio. It’s not an album that’s going to appeal to everyone but if the idea of challenging instrumental passages and soaring vocals doesn’t scare you off, you could do worse than giving this a try. (Sensory/Fusion III)