Pathfinder is the debut album of the Japanese rockers of Early Cross, a four-piece band comprising Natasha Vaichuk (vocals), Hiroaki Kato (six and twelve-string guitars, bouzouki, piano, Mellotron, organ), Yugo Maeda (bass) and Yushi Soutome (drums). They make music in the vein of Anathema, Opeth, Riverside, Day Six and The Gathering. The riffs, hooks and melodies are rather slow and they also use exotic instruments like the bouzouki. Six out of seven songs sound about the same, that is, too slow and too atmospheric to my ears, but the absolute highlight is a track called Cairn. In this piece Early Cross finally go without restraints and then you can hear what this band is capable of. So, I would like to have more of this kind of songs on the next album, because in my opinion Pathfinder sounds too mellow!
** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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