Review: “Euthanasia” by Stray From The Path

It seems unreal that “Euthanasia” is the eleventh studio album from Long Island New York heavy hitters Stray From The Path, even if this is actually only the third with the their current line up. Indeed, only guitarist Thomas Williams remains from the first line up that started out in 2001 before vocalist Andrew “Drew York” Dijorio joined in 2005, bassist Anthony “Dragon Neck” Altamura in 2010 and former Architects drum tech Craig Reynolds in 2016, but there is plenty to say that this is the definitive version of the band. The quality of both “Only Death Is Real” and “Internal Atomics” speak for themselves and this time around the band have plenty of fuel for their socio-political lyrics given the evens of the last two years…

Opening cut “Needful Things” is a barbed one, speaking of the negative aspects of Capitalism which have only served to increase the wealth divide as the rich get richer and the poor struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. The surprise is the departure of the Tom Morello inspired guitar work with William opting for a Hardcore tone as he drops stuccato riff infestations to accompany York’s vocal venom. There are a few hints at “Evil Empire” era Rage Against The Machine in the riffs of “May You Live Forever” but here it feels fresh with the band bringing their own bounce and verve while Reynolds kit performance is incredible as he gets creative with some ingenious fills. The intensity continues into “III” with Reynolds offering some blasting moments as the vocal heat turns to the topic of Police brutality. An obvious target it might be but the fact remains that it’s a subject that needs to be highlighted over and over again to get the powers that be to address it with genuine change.

While there have been times in the recent past where Stray From The Path might have no longer been considered a Hardcore band, here they have all the elements that comprise their sound on show and it has to be said that “Guillotine” has flavours of Knocked Loose in its wave after wave of ferocious riff attacks. If you looked at the track titles and thought “Chest Candy” might be a Steel Panther style track, then forget it as instead Williams brings haunting lead moments to a violent storm of Hardcore that will set of circle pits. It’s razor sharp and raging to the point of being feral as York rants and raves against the powers that be who control the Military. We all know that the other major inspiration on Stray From The Path is Deftones and their influence is clear on “Bread & Roses” which finds Jesse Barnett of Stick To Your Guns bravely providing the Chino Moreno styled vocal moments during the choruses. It’s still as intense and lyrically heavy but it’s different enough to turn the head and make the naysayers guess again.

The funkier opening to “Law Abiding Citizen“, a cut with menacing undertone is a nice touch that gives a moments breathing space before the tempo steps up to the bands usual levels. The spoken word lines make for an interesting twist as York takes lyrically takes out a number of individuals with questionable morals who are often disrespectful to the masses putting spins on things to get their way and brainwash people. As fired up as ever “The Salt In Your Spit” has some really impressive bass work from Altamura particularly around an ambient mid section that brings in the bounce of the second half. A pile driver of a cut with a fire starting breakdown, it’s followed by one that dives into not only the evils of racism but those who would defend it in “Neighborhood Watch“. Again the sonics maintain the momentum and energy of the record while York exposes the truth… and still manages to squeeze in a perfectly executed “Beigh!” moment. As with 2017’s “Only Death Is Real” which closed on the title track and stretched the bands sound, the grand finale in “Ladder Work” does the same thing. The band are joined by Benno Levine of who helps the band dial in the kind of Nu-Metal edge that Incubus had on “Science” with his DJ work and samples for a cut that has a science fiction vibe to it as well as being effectively the title track. It’s refreshing and works perfectly here as an experiment that pays off, confirming if confirmation was needed, that Stray From The Path have so much more to offer and this is a defining moment. [9/10]

Track Listing

  1. Needful Things
  2. May You Live Forever
  3. III
  4. Guillotine
  5. Chest Candy
  6. Bread & Roses (ft. Jesse Barnett of Stick To Your Guns)
  7. Law Abiding Citizen
  8. The Salt In Your Spit
  9. Neighborhood Watch
  10. Ladder Work (ft. Benno Levine of

Euthanasia” by Stray From The Path is out 9th September 2022 via UNFD

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