The Scars in Pneuma was a new animal to me, and I went into this album completely blind as a result. I had no expectations and no idea what would happen once I hit play. From Brescia, Italy, The Scars in Pneuma is made of Daniele Valseriati on drums, Francesco Lupi on guitar, and Lorenzo Marchello on vocals, bass, and guitar. The band is a combination of Black Metal and Death Metal with heavy leanings on melody; this album is seven songs that vary in length, structure, and to a certain degree, style. Mostly fitting comfortably under the banner of Blackened Death Metal, The Path of Seven Sorrows is a solid album with some flaws that don’t ruin enjoyment.
The drums are well done throughout the album, blending into the sub-genre that steers that song, or the segment; Daniele Valseriati is clearly a talented performer and ably bounces back and forth between the differing styles and tempos, with a good use of the full kit. Lorenzo Marchello’s bass playing doesn’t do much to stand out, but it does fit in with the music quite well; worthy of note however, the raspy, sometimes whisper-like Blacked Death Metal vocals are some of the best I’ve heard, especially from a newer band. On the topic of vocals, there is a truly surprising clean vocal inclusion that is impressive and somehow doesn’t feel out of place despite being just that. Guitars are by both Francesco Lupi and Lorenzo Marchello, which are sometimes excellent, sometimes repetitive, and honestly my biggest gripe with the release. The guitars utilize tremolo riffs a little too often for my taste, and don’t really do anything interesting with them; the same sections repeat in an attempt to craft melody, often becoming monotonous, and the songs without it shine brighter for the exclusion.
Overall this is a good release that pushes length of its songs a bit artificially by repetition and relies too heavily on tremolo riffs, when the band proves easily in some songs and sections that they are much more talented and interesting than that. I found the songs that went more into the realm of Death Metal to be more enjoyable than the more Black Metal ones for the most part; however there are more than a few moments of perfection on that side of the fence as well. This trio planted the seeds, and these seven songs are just the saplings; some of the ideas don’t seem fully formed while showing a huge amount of promise, and some are farther along in their evolution with a creative way of including melody. The Scars in Pneuma is well worth your time and a band to watch because they are sure to see a rapid ascension. (Ethan)