Early Cross – “Pathfinder” (2013)

Label: Lion Music

Review by Tony Cannella

From Japan, the doom, progressive, gothic metal band Early Cross is one of the newest artists to find a home on the excellent Lion Music label. This label consistently brings us good quality metal and Early Cross is no exception as their newest album “Pathfinder” will attest to.

“Pathfinder” contains 7-songs, but lasts for almost 50-minutes, thanks to the inclusion of some epic complex numbers. The first one that comes to mind is the 8-minute “Hymn to the Fallen”. This song features a little bit of everything that makes Early Cross a fascinating listen. The pacing is deliberate (as it is through most of the album) but the song contains progressive and doomy elements. After the brief intro “In the Half Light of the Ocean” the softer “Cairn” comes in and the first half of the song is a beautiful ballad before quickly shifting gears with heavier riffs and a faster tempo, this is almost like two songs in one. Lead vocalist Natasha Vaichuk has a wonderfully expressive vocal style. Another highlight would have to be the 14 ½ minute epic “The Pilgrimage”. This is an excellent track that changes tempos throughout and has a huge sound.

“Pathfinder” is a beautiful piece of work. Early Cross combines the ethereal with the epic. It’s a perfect combination. Early Cross is certainly headed in the right direction.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Ashes & Yarrow
  2. Cry Havoc
  3. Hymn to the Fallen
  4. In the Half Light of the Canyon
  5. Cairn
  6. The Pilgrimage
  7. The Fog

 

Line Up

  • Natasha Vaichuk – Vocals
  • Hiroaki Kato – 6 & 12 String Guitars, Bouzouki, Pianos, Mellotrons, Organs
  • Yugo Maeda – Bass
  • Yushi Soutome – Drums

 

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