Very few records these days offer its listeners a front row seat on a rollercoaster ride bound steadfastly towards interstellar oblivion; even fewer are the records promising this as a wholly immersive experience where every jolt, every heavy bombardment, and every ascent and descent through the heavens rushes through your body with verisimilitudinal precision. These are the records where every deep breath before the plunge becomes crucial in riding through its ecstasy and coming out the other end in one piece, albeit as a very different person, the records whose indellible mark becomes a part of your very being. You’ve seen things no one else besides the rare few you’ve shared this journey with would believe, burdened to never forget those sights and sounds, the visions and revelations of a future no one dreamt they’d see coming. Deep Chrome, the second release by St Louis’ Path of Might, is one such album: a blistering, perspicacious portent so vivid and arresting even Nostrodamus would be reduced to disbelief.
Erupting with the ferocity of archaic proto-planets across all directions and dimensions, Path of Might‘s colossal columns of kosmiche doom hurtle towards cataclysmic reaches with rigourous immensity and yet, out of the billowing smoke and ruinous ash, Deep Chrome is as intricately woven as you could ever hope a space record to be. Carefully and meticulously crafted out of kaleidoscopic leads, crushing sludge motifs, and extraterrestrial synths, these scintillating tapestries illuminate and explode on queue, burning up on re-entry with the same tremendous force it propels itself with towards the face of god. So vast is its scope, so breathtaking its magnitude, it is easy to forget just how in control the band are and how their mission is not some fanciful, endless flight through the cosmos but a harrowing odyssey towards the death and rebirth of all conceivable things – you just have to hear it to believe it yourself.
This is sonic architecture at its absolute finest, achieved during the apex of cool and calculating prog-rock masterpiece ‘Mercenary Territory’: its rousing central riff a force to behold powering a non-stop ride towards enlightenment overflowing with grandeur and throbbing elegance; it’s coda, ‘Parastichy’ stops your heart like the calm at a waterfall’s end. From here on out Path of Might endeavour to steal every breath with their endless arsenal of sumptuous genre-bending intricacies – the desert-rock-infused psychedelic ascension of ‘Cactus Rose’ comes to mind before, lo and behold, the true nature of this beast reveals itself. Ejecting a monolithic darkness under the crushing density of ‘See You At The End Of The World’, Deep Chrome unravels the fabric of knowledge, of existence, all the while assuring us that, above all else, the end is fine, A-OK. Twinned with the equally gargantuan ‘Antimatter’ and ‘Armitage’ pairing, the album closes in stasis, time almost standing still as all matter becomes stripped of purpose.
Redefining the words ‘epic’ and ‘grandiose’ with with all the sincerity of those seasoned mages who have stood upon high before them, Path of Might exist on the fringes harmonising perfect equilibrium between ear-splitting devastation and atmospheric elation, their seer’s eye fixed upon a fragile mortality and the brave following – you the listener – bestowed to radiate in their wisdom. Deep Chrome revels in all its genius, offering itself not only as a triumphant sophomore outing boundlessly leaping into the unknown from its predecessor’s launchpad but also as an unending glimpse into the heavens – and there’s little you can do to escape its rapturous transfixion. This is as close to perfection as you are likely to come; by album’s end you have to ask yourself: “what can I do with all this knowledge?”
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