Lord Almighty, the Boston black n rollers who understand the sheer fun and magic of a genre that God has spurned. Sure they may be a tad lo fi, but their latest offering Paths remains vibrant and vicious. This is the sort of band who understand the power of local scenes and blaze forward with the might and music of a far older band. Their songwriting is on point and shows a clear artistic direction. A band packed with potential, I'm curious to see them evolve over the years. This album is clearly a labor of love, and the deeper you delve the more passion you find packed away. Paths encourages you to dig deeper, pick apart chunky rhythms and bite into hooks that keep the album streamlined and fun. While this record certainly shows room for growth, it also suggests that Lord Almighty have the ability to be the new Goatwhore. After all, they have that same sense of satanic bliss underscored by tight riffs and a wonderfully bloody sense of heavy metal insanity.
What gets me about Paths is the pacing of the record. The interlude tracks, appropriately named "Paths I-IV" are delicious, and the instrumental mastery of a song like "Desolate" is hard to ignore. These guys have a strong understanding of melodic content, unfortunately a lot of it is drowned under subpar tone, as well as muddy and washed out production. The band's balance of black metal, grooving rock and even touches of death metal is a lot of fun to get into and suggests to me that this is a group who could go on to do far more. The angular playing and sense of forward motion that defines this record is really fun, despite some of the darker themes there is something undeniably upbeat about what Lord Almighty have done here, and that makes Paths strangely addictive. When the album shines, it really shines, just spin a track like "O Wanderer" and it's clear that these guys have what it takes to be compositionally on point. Boston has always had great metal, and Lord Almighty are carrying on what is a proud tradition.
I'm not too sure if Paths is worth coming back to too many times, but it certainly is a fun listen and one that you won't regret. It shows us a truly exciting band about to dive into what could be there prime. The riffs are there, the songwriting is developing and the production suggests these guys could be truly great. When a band is sitting on this much raw talent and seems capable of creating so much it leaves you almost in pain, curious to see what will happen next and if your optimistic predictions will come true. As is I enjoy sitting back and letting the riffs soar over me. There is a demented magic at play here and a sense of tortured beauty that will leave you in awe. Lord Almighty could be the band America needs… it's up to them to take the crown.