Band Biographies: ARRAYAN PATH


ARRAYAN PATH was formed in 1997 by the name of ARRYAN PATH. Singer Nicholas Leptos and guitarist Clement Fung, both students at Umass in Amherst, Massachusetts, realized that they have much more in common than their love for Y. J. Malmsteen and started numerous song-writing sessions to see where it would take them. In time, the first ARRYAN PATH songs were born. For the record, the first song officially written was probably ‘Mystic moon’. 

The name ARRYAN PATH was taken from a botanical site on the newly established worldwide web, and ‘arrayán’ was a type of flower. Being young and naive, the band removed one ‘A’ from the middle to make the name shorter (that ‘A’ would once again return in 2011, more on that later) and more epic-sounding. As time went by, Nicholas had finished his studies in America and had to return to his homeland Cyprus. He had a dream about ARRYAN PATH and that was to make music in the style of his main influences which at the time was Iron Maiden and Rhapsody. Even though he continued with the band, it was obvious that Clement couldn’t be a part of it due to ‘geographical restrictions’ (Clement lived in Hong Kong). However, he did travel to Cyprus to record the guitars for the first demo of the band called ‘Return to Troy’. Keyboard player and composer George Kallis, a long-time childhood friend of Nicholas, performed all the keyboards. He still remains as the band’s keyboard player and one of the main reasons ARRAYAN PATH has their own personal sound today. 

For the second demo ‘Osiris’, Nicholas recruited his brother Socratis on the guitars and Paris Lambrou on bass. The second demo had heavier and more epic songs but in both demos ARRYAN PATH confused people as to what kind of music they wanted to play. Both demos included epic songs like ‘Return to Troy’, ‘Osiris’ and ‘Piri Reis’ but they also included hard rock songs like ‘Destiny’ and ‘Sacrifice’, even a pop rock song called ‘Window of Dreams’! Some other good friends of the band like Nickolas Philippou (drums) and Nicholas Demetriou (bass) really helped the band in its first steps and were part of what we call now ‘The ARRAYAN PATH sound’. 

Finally, it seems that the epic side of the band took a larger piece of Nicholas’ heart and thus the band started working on their first full-length album called ‘Road to Macedonia’, following and exploring epic metal, however, it was not your usual underground epic metal sound. There was something there, something different, something that would evolve into what the band is today. The personal touch and sound of the band’s members and an intense lyrical bastard child of epic metal as played by the greats in the past. 

The album featured Chris ‘Junior’ Ioannides on the drums and it was released in 2004 by Greek label Steel Gallery Records (recordings for the album started in a Cyprus studio in 2000!). Suddenly ARRAYAN PATH was very well-known in Greece and in many European countries. The album received great reviews mostly although it was still confusing to people as to what ARRYAN PATH was about. For unknown reasons, mostly because the band did not realize the effect that the album had on their newly- found fans, ARRYAN PATH was put on ice for a few years. It had a lot to do with Nicholas’ need to explore other genres, to involve himself in other projects and find himself musically. 

In 2009, Nicholas decided to re-activate the band. He thought it would be interesting to record another album and see what happens. He started communicating with producer/singer Vagelis Maranis (ex-Sanvoisen) and he gave him the motivation needed to write new music for ARRYAN PATH. Nicholas’ admiration for Vagelis’ voice (Nicholas was a huge Sanvoisen fan) played an important role in working with Vagelis and travelling to Germany for the recordings. It even played an important role on the sound as Nicholas, knowing that he would be working with Maranis, picked out songs with oriental and ethnic influences (singing-wise mostly) as Maranis was a pioneer in singing metal combining influences from his country, Greece. Vagelis also suggested the drums be played by his friend and studio session drummer Stefan Dittrich. Maranis also participated in a duet with Nicholas on the song ‘Cassiopeia’, a dream come true for Nicholas! The band then signed with Pitch Black Records from Cyprus (who released all later albums as well). Thus, ‘Terra Incognita’ was born! 

‘Terra incognita’ (released in 2010) really gave ARRAYAN PATH the recognition they deserved. And even though they remained in the underground levels of metal (they still are more or less), it was obvious that something really good was happening here! On one end the incredible reviews and the fact that the band was nominated for the IMPALA music awards and on the other, the one and only Bruce Dickinson, playing the band on his radio show (the song ‘Open Season’ in particular) and having some good things to say! Once again, the thirst for the band to keep writing music has revived. The feedback they received with ‘Terra incognita’ gave them the motivation to create. 

In 2011 the band decided to change the name from ARRYAN PATH to ARRAYAN PATH. Unfortunately the band was wrongly linked with extremist political views and was very often accused on different forums by metal fans who obviously didn’t read any of the lyrics in the songs (mythology!). Well, propaganda prevailed and the band had a brand new name (hardly)! When the storm calmed down, ARRAYAN PATH was still standing! And ‘Ira Imperium’ was born! 

The band decided to move towards a heavier direction. This album combines power metal and epic metal, infiltrated of course with the ARRAYAN PATH personal sound. Nicholas gave it a shot to ask the legendary Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) to sing a duet with him. A long shot it was but to everyone’s surprise it was realised! Tony Martin appears on the song ‘Ira Imperium (The Damned)’. The great reviews continued and the band was once again nominated for the IMPALA awards (losing from Adele!). It seems that the fans liked the new direction and the band decided to stay on the same path for their next album as well. The album ‘Ira Imperium’ also featured guitarist Alexis Kleidaras (who also played a few solos on ‘Terra Incognita’. The whole procedure of recording and mixing ‘Ira Imperium’ was a bit frustrating, mostly due to some disagreements and misunderstanding with producer Maranis. It was all finally resolved. 

With the release of their fourth album ‘IV: Stigmata’ in 2013, ARRAYAN PATH had achieved many things. Most importantly, they had managed to write their best album until then, surpassing all their previous releases. In this album the band followed a ‘darker’ path, for the first time making a concept album about religion and different biblical tales. They also recorded their first video clip for the song ‘Clepsydra’. Not a single bad review and the band making it to most top 10 lists around the globe (as it happened with ‘Ira Imperium’ to a certain degree), the cd almost selling out in the first few months and ARRAYAN PATH being recognized and considered to be in the top melodic metal bands in the world (in the ‘underground’ level)! The success of the album and the fact that it broke the boundaries of Europe, made it possible for Nicholas Leptos’ voice to reach the ears of Bill Tsamis (of the legendary WARLORD) and ‘forced’ him to ask Nicholas to join WARLORD! Nicholas couldn’t turn down the offer but at the same time promised that this would not be the end of ARRAYAN PATH. ARRAYAN PATH has played numerous live shows in Cyprus and Greece but in Nicholas’ words, the band will mostly be a studio band. Although when playing live, ARRAYAN PATH proves that they can do it as good as on the albums, and although they were asked to join several European tours (e.g. ORPHANED LAND), they choose to make fewer live appearances and spend all their money on creating new music. The band has appeared twice at Up the Hammers festival in Athens and headlined Power of the night festival in Nicosia twice (one with alter ego Prodigal Earth). They also opened for Rage, Firewind, Stratovarius and Sabaton, but also appeared in many concerts around the island with several other Cyprus bands. 

In 2014, ARRAYAN PATH announced that they are working on 2 albums, one following the direction of the last 2 albums and one following the more epic path of their first 2 albums. ‘Chronicles of light’ came first. It was a sudden turn to a sound considered too modern by metal fans. Alexis Kleidaras returned for rhythm guitars and at the same time George Kallis marked his first absence from an ARRAYAN PATH record (although Angelos Vafeiadis from Warlord really put out a helping hand to the band, recording a few songs). The album also featured Francois Michelleto in an unusual duet with Nicholas and a great solo by Kostas Vretos. Although this album was much talked about and ‘attacked’ by most because of its sound, it featured some great songs (‘Gabriel is rising’, ‘Ignore the pain’, ‘December’) that are being played constantly by the band. 

After the release of ‘Chronicles of light’, the band had to regroup and rethink the new direction. Suddenly there were changes in almost every sector and category related to the band. Band members, producers, hell even the graphic designer! Long-time band member of the band, bass player Paris Lambrou decided to part ways with the band for various personal and musical reasons. At the same time, Nicholas felt that the link between ARRAYAN PATH and Vagelis Maranis was beginning to weaken, as passion to work with each other was lost by both sides and things had become unstable. It was with a heavy heart (considering how much he admired Vagelis) that Nicholas decided to change the engineering team. After a few months everything came into place. Miguel Trapezaris (well-known bass player in Cyprus) offered to join the band and become a permanent member. At the same time, friends of the band like Kikis Apostolou and Huseyin Kirmizi offered a helping hand to the band and helped them stand on their feet, shaping up their yet un-titled next record and leaving their mark on the music. Guitarist Christoforos Gavriel also took a more active role, while George Eracleous took over the sound engineering. It was at that time that Nicholas decided to postpone releasing ‘the epic album’ as was promised before (more in the following paragraph). 

It was then decided that ARRAYAN PATH should produce the next album themselves and contacted Simone Mularoni for the mixing. Working with Simo turned out to be very effective and productive, giving that extra ‘push’ that the band needed to go on. Lots of things were happening at the time. Nicholas was in contact with an official priest of Kali who heard the song ‘Kiss of Kali’ on YouTube and contacted Nicholas expressing his admiration to the band. For many months the priest was in communication with Nicholas, sending him books, notes of his, and research about the Goddess Kali. Nicholas was inspired to explore this religion and mythology. It was decided then to make a concept album. Thus came...’Dawn of Aquarius’! 

The album was pitch black (pun intended) and heavy, but most of all, it was as successful as ‘IV: Stigmata’! The album received rave reviews and was voted as ‘album of the month’ in the Greek Metal Hammer. It was also included in many ‘end-of-the- year’ playlists in various rock/metal sites and became a reference point for the band. I guess Kali proved to be very important for the band. It was as if she bounced off all the negativity that lurked within the band’s ranks the last 3 years! 

The time had come for the band to fulfil their destiny. Not even six months after the release of ‘Dawn of Aquarius’ and the band had a new double album ready. ‘ΑΡΧΕΓΟΝΟΙ’ (‘ARCHEGONOI’) came to be! This album was a personal bet for Nicholas. He was writing this album for almost 10 years and it could very easily come out as a solo album, as 85% of the music was written by him. The return to the epic sound of the debut album was realized. The album features the return of George Kallis on the keyboards (who in the meantime won several awards in the movie business as composer) and Mark Zonder (Warlord, ex-Fates Warning) on the drums (for the second time without ‘permanent’ session player Stefan Dittrich). 

November 27th, 2020 will see the release of the band’s 8th album, “The Marble Gates to Apeiron”. This is a much heavier release than its predecessor and more on the “up- tempo” scale, while at the same time maintaining all the characteristics and trademarks that make up the unmistakable style and sound of ARRAYAN PATH. It’s also an album where there has been a lot more involvement between all band members than ever before. 

DISCOGRAPHY:

‘Return to Troy’ demo 1998

‘Osiris’ demo 2000

‘Road to Macedonia’ album 2004

‘Terra Incognita’ album 2010

‘Ira Imperium’ album 2011

‘IV: Stigmata’ album 2013

‘Chronicles of light’ album 2016

‘Dawn of Aquarius’ album 2017

‘ΑΡΧΕΓΟΝΟΙ’ album 2018

‘The Marbles Gates to Apeiron’ album 2020 

MEMBERS:

Nicholas Leptos-Voice
Socratis Leptos-Guitars
Miguel Trapezaris-Bass
Christoforos Gavriel-Guitars
George Kallis-Keyboards 

SESSION MUSICIANS

Alexis Kleidaras-Guitars (both studio and live)
Kikis Apostolou-Guitars (studio)
Huseyin ‘Japon’ Kirmizi-Keyboards
Angelos Vafeiadis-Keyboards
Ilhan Erbil-Guitars (live)
Panagiotis Xanthou-Guitars (live)
Vagelis Maranis-Bass and backing vocals (studio)
Mark Zonder-Drums
Stefan Dittrich-Drums

PAST MEMBERS

Clement Fung-Guitars (1997-2000)
Nicholas Demetriou-Bass (1998-1999)
Nickolas Philippou-Drums (1998-2000)
Paris Lambrou-Bass (1999-2016)

No hay comentarios

Con la tecnología de Blogger.