Some bands unleash a debut so fierce, you hang on for years awaiting the next entry in their discography. Path of Might are a band who have over delivered on my wishes, with their new album Deep Chrome, not only blowing me away, but firmly planting itself up at the top of my albums of the year. Their debut Hallowed Gate Style from 2017 was already right up there for me that year after my review, combining raucous stoner metal, with doom and prog-rock elements. A colossal battle between fuzz, synths, and thumping guitars, Hallowed Gate Style was packed full of memorable hooks and guitar licks. I’m more than pleased to say that Deep Chrome has even more of each to get countless listens out of you this summer.
The five-piece from St. Louis, Missouri certainly have their upgraded mix and recording to thank in part for the uptick in quality on Deep Chrome. Path of Might‘s frontman Spencer Medley sounds so great with vocals very clear and present, whereas before they were heavily distorted. Not a bad thing, as he cranked out some great vocals hooks, but now they just sound better. On the track “Supergolden” midway through the record, you’ll hear his tones and shouts really punch you through the mix, even with an epic arrangement of synths, drums, and guitars pounding away alongside. Path of Might certainly seems to have focused on building on the herculean side of their sound in Deep Chrome, with almost every track having a moment of greatness, ideal for a soundtrack to accompany an Elden Ring session or an epic hillside walk.
Each time I throw on the record, I’m blown away by how fuzzy and groovy the guitars are. The first track “Viper Matrix” seems to be a clever play on words, with the groove akin to the undulating movements of a snake. It is fast-paced and gets you moving, setting up the contrast of the second half of the track perfectly. Around the midway point, Path of Might unleashes the first taste of their new and improved epic sound, with synths and guitars leaving long open notes to send the track to the stratosphere. As expected from this gargantuan band, they wrap the track up nicely with reprises from the beginning of the track, slamming the listener with fuzzy guitars.
Before I move on to the rest of the main tracks, I must commend them on the second track “Wormhole”. It’s pushing two minutes, so might not be an interlude track, but damn I love the synth work on this. It reminds me heavily of Mass Effect’s title music “Vigil”, but has more energy and fire behind the emotionally charged synths. Damn cool stuff.
Path of Might is a fantastic hybrid of loads of bands I like, ranging from the synthy Ancestors, to the more psych-laden Elder, but certainly have carved out their own niche sound in a heavily populated genre. In the third track “Mercenary Territory”, the band go ham with combining keys with the guitar licks with great success, creating a progged out groove track that always feels like its going to teeter into something much heavier. The band is excellent at escalating their tracks gradually, with more pizzazz levied upon the listener before an ultimate climax.
Two of the tracks push over ten minutes, something that will always get my rocks off. Nothing better than listening to a sonic tapestry that never wants to end if you ask me. The first of the two, the insanely epic “See You at the End of the World” features a plethora of guest musicians, and evens sees synth player Joel switch to play an upright bass to boot. The result? A ripsnorting track that mixes classic doom with Path of Might‘s futuristic space doom. The track plays out like the band is leaving behind some fetid dying planet as they set off on a galactic quest, that goes horribly wrong. The thundering doom accompanied by the synths is staggering on big speakers. Again too, the excellent vocals from Spencer really help to wrap the track up as a complete package. Certainly one of my favourites off of the album.
The final track is the second track of epic length and closes off this exceptional album really well with much more of the same, however, I’d say that “Armitage” sees Path of Might take their sound into their own cinematic universe. The synth work is so wild, but so well metered against the rest of the music. And damn, I feel bad for not having mentioned the drums yet but they simply deserve a wow. Throughout the record, they provide a fast-paced and frenetic foundation that complements and accelerates the music towards new peaks. Path of Might have done it again, dropped a record that exceeds expectations, challenges genre norms and above all is a fucking great time. Deep Chrome is a perfect template for their future success.