The Scars in Pneuma
The Path of Seven Sorrows.

Well I’ll be damned, color me impressed. Brescia, Italy’s, The Scars in Pneuma, and their debut album, The Path of Seven Sorrows, really caught me by surprise with its mature sound and songwriting. While the band cites influences from the likes of Rotting Christ, Mgla, Dissection, Be’lakor and others, in the end it’s just a bunch of words until you hit play and decide if those words ring true or are just hopeful rhetoric. After giving The Path of Seven Sorrows quite a few listens, I can truly declare that their influential claim is actually spot-fucking-on; especially the Rotting Christ attribute. In fact, The Path of Seven Sorrows, shits all over the new, somewhat solid, but uninspiring, Rotting Christ. Much like the last Behemoth album, it is neither really bad or good, while The Scars in Pneuma have got quite a consummate album on their hands, even if it does reek of (good) Rotting Christ.

Album opener, “Devotion”, is a fantastic, blast filled, melody laced, tremolo run of greatness. It’s dynamic, haunting, and even hummable; a great mix of influences from Dissection, Naglfar, Rotting Christ, and even early …And Oceans. Confident, clean, and sophisticated; “Devotion” is a great foot to start this journey out on and it sets up the rest of the album perfectly. ”Souls Are Burning” follows with rolling fills and fat, simple, crunchy/crushing riffge until blasting fields quickly take over. It’s good, but feels a bit standard until that fat riffage rears its head again at the 2:08 mark, from there on out the track is pure bliss. The tremolo melody on top of that simple, crushing riff with punchy,  yet toned back drumwork, leads into fantastic female vocals, courtesy of Irene Ettori, that all of it combined, gives you shivers. A faux sense of ending, reminiscent of Between the Buried and Me in sound, pops up for a few seconds before the track closes  out in wonderful blasts and melody.

Adopting the same basic formula of “Souls Are Burning”, “Spark to Fire to Sun” is full of blasts and spectacular melo-tremolo. The melodies are simple but delicious, and the riffing is again, crunchy and crushing. A slower to midpaced gait makes up the majority of “All the Secrets that We Keep”. Full of that aforementioned crunch and melody, the track is moving and full of conviction, maintaining a dark and underlying beauty to it. The song picks up around the half-way point to become a blasting melo-infused monster, eventually revisiting that slower, darker pace that set the track off.

While “Dark Horizons Ahead” is probably the album’s most firey and albeit quickest track at a mere three minutes, follow-up, “The Glorious Empire of Sand”, is the  longest track at eight minutes, but also the album’s most ambitious track. Beautiful and moving in its opening moments, song feels like a living entity, heartbeat and all. The guitarwork is poignant, clean, and compelling, almost resembling the softer side of Between the Buried and Me, while the drums accent everything perfectly. The 2:26 mark sees the song flawlessly merge into faster territory while exorcising the same melodic demons. Not until three minutes in do the vocals make an appearance with blasting aplomb following. The track is a respectfully dynamic affair, once again paralleling the brilliance of the influential might of Rotting Christ, Naglfar, and Dissection, while showing signs of growth and development within said influential style. Instrumental, “Constellations”, closes out The Path of Seven Sorrows with somber chords melody, slightly accented with brief, soothing female vocals and simple robust drums that fill out the void, eventually, drifting off into the sounds of solemn rainshowers.

The Scars in Pneuma and The Path of Seven Sorrows is indeed quite impressive to say the least. I can assure you that this album will be amongst my favorites of 2019 when it’s all said and done. The album really is that good. It’s extremely clean but with a heft and bite, and at a 38 minute run time, it is a perfect length. The band has a strong identity and grip on their style, and songwriter/guitarist/vocalist, Lorenzo Marchello, clearly knows where he wants to take his compositions.

If you have ever enjoyed any of Rotting Christ’s output, then you can easily find yourself digging on The Scars in Pneuma. I’ll admit that it isn’t really anything you’ve never heard before, but it is a damn good listen. Like I said earlier, The Path of Seven Sorrows is a much better album, artwork and all, than the new Rotting Christ release. If you’re like me and were disappointed with said band’s latest output, or maybe you have yet to hear it, might I encourage you to give this Italian three-piece a chance, and check out The Path of Seven Sorrows.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
April 4th, 2019

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