Desolate pathway – Valley of the king

album by:
Desolate pathway

Reviewed by:
On 26 December 2014
Last modified:26 December 2014


If you're a fan of Doom metal then this is definitely well worth a listen.

Desolate pathway - Valley of the kingDesolate Pathway are a UK Doom Metal band formed by former Pagan Altar guitarist Vince Hempstead. The band have just released their debut album, “Valley of the king”.

While I don’t often comment on album covers, this album’s cover deserves mention.  It’s an impressive cover which has a dark feel to it and inspires thoughts of “Lord of the rings” with the dark gothic looking building towering over you.  It’s nice when a new band make the effort to give their debut release an impressive cover rather than doing things on the cheap – first impressions do count after all.

The album can be called a concept album as there is a story running through the whole album. The story is about Prince Palidor who leads his army of deserters to the Valley of the king.

What we have musically is an excellent Doom metal album.  It’s got the typically slow pace that you associate with Doom, but while some doom does feel too slow and seems to drag on, this doesn’t.  The album doesn’t all stay at the same pace – there’s enough change of pace between the songs to ensure that while all are clearly Doom metal, there’s enough variation to keep things interesting.  To get an idea of how they sound, check out the video for the title track, at the bottom of this review.

The bass and drums give a great solid basis to the music, and on top of that there’s nice guitar work and some great vocals from Simon Stanton.  There are almost no keyboards or sound effects used so what you hear on the album is likely to be pretty close to how it sounds live (although I suspect live will be better as not many of us can play our music at home at the sort of volume and bass levels that you get at a gig and which make doom sound even better).

This is an excellent Doom album, and if this is what Desolate Pathway have managed for their first album, I’m sure they will only continue to get better and better, in which case I can’t wait to hear what they come up with for the next album.  If you’re a fan of Doom metal then this is definitely well worth a listen.

Track listing:

1. The valley of the king
2. Desolate pathway
3. Forest of mirrors
4. Last of my kind
5. Season of the witch
6. King of vultures
7. Shadow of the tormentor
8. Upon the throne of lights

Desolate pathway are:

Simon Stanton: Vocals
Vince Hempstead: Guitars
Jim Rumsey: Bass
Mags: Drums

Desolate pathway

If you're a fan of Doom metal then this is definitely well worth a listen.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.