i like the cover art work. glad that, for this release, there is no hard to read band logo - it represents, i would guess, the light at the end of a shadowy path - very fitting...and doesn't forget about the obligatory inverted pentagram.
"path of shadows" is a great opening track. it is well played, well mixed and hasn't been made overly complicated. it is a beautiful piece of deceptively simple music - i am glad there is no intrusion of guitar or vocals for this track.
"lost souls" is the shortest track on the album. it has some solid drumming, interesting chord changes and a nice tempo change about halfway through. the vocals are good and sung within the vocalists range.
"howling darkness" has a nice opening with some solid guitar work, another interesting tempo change and a nice, clean closing; the transition could use a little attention but there is another solid vocal performance.
moving on to the longest track "the abyss of bones"; it is perhaps my least favourite but i still like it. the quiet sections are well played and SE have tried something a little different with a 'panned' section but for some reason on this track it doesn't quite work; towards the end of the track there are some screams - i'm not sure why i don't like them perhaps its because they fall short of being piercing (or i just don't think they work). however the 'singing' screams at the start of this and a few of the other songs i like - the vocals in this track are a fraction low in the mix. for me, this track is a little too long (and i would of cut off a minute or song of the end).
"dying soul" is another song with solid guitar work and interesting riff changes which breaks up the same sounding guitar tone...perhaps the kick/drums could of come up a little in the mix. as with all good black metal you need a lyric sheet to understand what's being sung but that is part of its charm. i think this song ends a little abruptly.
the penultimate track "the death waiting for me" is my favourite - to me it is the most expressive of the seven tracks - it's very interesting musically and more experimental. the panned section in this track works well but the vocals are a little low in the mix and get a little lost with so much other stuff going on.
"terminus" is the last track and a nice album closer - again i don't like the (non vocal) screaming but, as with the other tracks it appears on, it is well placed but for me just distracts from the songs.
overall "Path of Shadows" is a great album. it has been, overall, well mixed/produced but there are one or two areas that need a little attention - some of the levels, fades and endings could use a little refining and perhaps bringing the vocals up. it's a little slower than some black metal and perhaps the introspective instrumental pieces are a replacement for guitar solos but these are plus points. sometimes there is not enough riff/chord variation but all of the guitar work is well played. the drumming is also solid but can also lack a little variation at times, a few rolls or fills are needed but "the death waiting for me" shows how well individual instruments are played. i feel the bass, if there even is any, has disappeared in the mix. the vocals are 'typical' black metal growls but are actually pretty good; the vocalist hasn't done anything outside of his range and that's good.
Source - Funereal Drone