Like anything, being in a band is hard at times. You get taken out of your comfort zone more often than you are in it, you are exposed to the elements, and are often vulnerable.
Wilkes-Barre’s Dead End Path spent 2011 releasing a record and relentlessly touring. They would hit the road often and garnered respect and attention, but shortly after “Blind Faith” had cemented the band as a hardcore mainstay, they started to tour less and less. The band had dedicated themselves to the road and came out on the other side unsure. As their touring slowed down, the band continued to play shows when they had time, but it seemed that the machine that was Dead End Path was fading. But just like their new record connotes, that spirit was resurrected.
Dead End Path ended last year with a cryptic message on their social media explaining that they were “going away for a while” after some shows. All the while, the band was writing, stowed away in a practice space, and soon in Will Yip’s Studio 4 in Conshohocken. What would become of these months of secrecy has just been released to the general public via Alternative Press magazine as their sophomore LP: “Seance & Other Songs.”
The record starts off with “Seance” itself – a track lasting just over 30 seconds and creating an almost worrisome ambience. Feedback, drums, and monotonous chanting greet the listener, and right away an entire new identity is created for Dead End Path. As the album art depicts (a photo taken by singer and lyricist Uriah Thomas), the album is conceptually much darker than previous work, and the omen only continues to grow as the LP sets forth.
The album combines influences from across the entire spectrum of heavy music. From hardcore to black metal to U.K. punk, Dead End Path took certain essences and combined them to create an entirely new sound. Not since Burial Ground has something from the area sounded so aggressive and abrasive.
It is almost antisocial in certain respects. This is not a Sunday afternoon drive record; this is a conceptually dark record and brutal in all other aspects. The lyrics are a thoughtful mix of existential and morose, but I don’t mean this in a negative way. Dead End Path has always struck a chord of urgent feelings, and this is just their most open and honest group of songs yet.
“Seance & Other Songs” is available for pre-order now from Boston’s Triple B Records but can be listened to at various sources already online until its street date of June 10. What Dead End Path’s future will be is still uncertain, but perhaps the only sureness is that it will be unlike anything they’ve ever done before.