The progressive side of doom and sludge metal feels like a scene constantly in motion: young bands enter the space with nasty riffs and more traditional songwriting and, release by release, move farther away from that into weirder, sometimes less sludge-based stuff. It's not a question of 'selling out' or losing vision—rather, there's enough unexplored territory here, toying with intersecting crushing riffs and thought-provoking rock, to fill countless albums and define innumerable new styles of music. For anyone really thinking about the potential, staying in one place is simply out of the question—and for St. Louis' Path of Might, their upcoming album Deep Chrome represents another step forward on a journey to unseen new heights.

While retaining their knack for nasty riffs, on Deep Chrome the band overlay guitars with voluminous synths to create wider and roomier soundscapes to house these more aggressive moments and expand their palette. Like on the previous album Hallowed Gate Style, there's also a tendency to indulge in flights of instrumental fancy, breaking away from a riff to try out some clever leads and looser jam-like passages that are, simply put, fun—a slick counterpart to some of the bigger ideas and pensive moods the album dwells on. We're streaming the track "Armitage" below, which features guest vocals from Fister's Marcus Newstead.

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Newstead also signed onto the band recently as a second guitarist, but here his contribution comes vocally, dousing the start of the expansive track in acerbic ichor. "Armitage" is a long, explorative track that highlights just how far Path of Might has come in their ability to create massive, thoughtful songs, but it does come with its fair share of riffs as well. The track seems to swell in scope, adding in new elements and finding new grooves every few minutes, with the band's progressive madness evident as their ability to tap into huge, heavy sounds. "Armitage," as the final track on the album, serves to wind things down and leave us all alone with our thoughts—it's some of their slowest, most thoughtful work yet.

The band comments:

We started writing "Armitage" in 2017, shortly after releasing "Hallowed Gate Style". That's also when we added our synth player Joel and became a 4-piece. The song felt unfinished when we began tracking it in late 2019, but then the pandemic happened, and we had a lot of time to have it mixed and nail down synth parts at home. The synth solo in this song is one of the last things we composed on the record.

We all listen to a ton of stuff and try to flex our songwriting in a variety of ways. Whether we achieved it or not, we wanted "Deep Chrome" to feel cinematic in terms of pacing. It starts out high-energy and gradually gets more melancholy. "Armitage" is the closer and the resolution. It's the most "doom" song we have so far, so we asked Marcus to add some guest vocals. Our guitarist Spencer was Fister's touring drummer a few years ago, and we've looked up to them forever. When we realized we needed a 2nd guitarist to properly execute the finished songs, we were very stoked that Marcus agreed to join full time.

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Deep Chrome releases April 22nd via Encapsulated Records (follow the band on Bandcamp as well).

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