For five years Rote Mare was a highly acclaimed solo project which churned out one strong demo after another. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, 'Sorrows Path' comes along and with it comes the end of the solo project and the birth of the band: Phil has hired lead guitarist Sean Wiskin, bassist Andrew Gillingham, and drummer Ben Dodunski; re-molding Rote Mare as a four piece band.
I must admit that I've missed out on the demos that came after 'The Red Sea', yet I recognized the style instantly. The basic traditional doom sound of Rote Mare is as prominent as ever, and the addition of an extra three skilled musicians has only reinforced all that was good about it. It is also apparent that Phil has made some amazing progress on his voice during the three years which I've missed. He was good before, but now he's excellent. I can't think of more than a few vocalists who can pull off truly grievous vocals without sounding out of place in a trad. doom band.
'Sorrows Path' may be just 19 minutes long, but it is still a culmination of all the promise which the solo project era held. It may contain no more than two tracks, but the high standard which they both hold shows great promise for the forthcoming album. If it is anywhere near as good as this then it will be a classic.
Reviewed on 16-09-2010 by Arnstein H. Pettersen