Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


At War With Self

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

At War With Self A Familiar Path album cover
4.15 | 14 ratings | 3 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Reflections - 5:56 (Snelwar)
2. Diseased State - 3:12 (Snelwar)
3. A Familiar Path - 9:35 (Music - Snelwar/Dikkers , Lyrics - Snelwar)
4. The Ether Trail - 2:28 (Snelwar/Dikkers)
5. Ourselselves - 6:29 (Music and Lyrics - Snelwar)
6. Etude No.10 - 4:03 (Heitor Villa-Lobos, arrangement Snelwar)
7. Concrete and Poison - 8:01 (Snelwar,Trotta, Zodda)
8. Hope - 2:44 (Snelwar)

Total Time 42:38

Line-up / Musicians

Glenn Snelwar - Guitars, Mandolins, Bass, Keys, Vocals
Manfred Dikkers - Drums, Percussion
Maggie Snelwar - Backing Vocals on "Ourselves"

Releases information

Recorded in Indiana USA and the Netherlands 2007 through 2009. Mixed by Snelwar/Dikkers. Mastered by Snelwar. Released in November 2009 on on Sluggo's Goon Music.

Thanks to lerxtdude for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy AT WAR WITH SELF A Familiar Path Music

AT WAR WITH SELF A Familiar Path ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AT WAR WITH SELF A Familiar Path reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not technical or prog metal is this outfit of Glenn Snewlar and his collaborators of the moment really - this is pure eclectic modern prog that focuses grandly on the confluence of jazz-rock, prog-metal, space-rock, fusion and ambient. Well, anyway, At War With Self's third effort "A Familiar Path" is a complete testimony of permanent inspiration and constant adventure. It is true that for this one, ATWS has developed a harder edge on the heavy rock and psychedelic sides of the line opf work alread yexplored in the tw oprevious albums, but still the essential core of this ensemble's sonic framework remains robustly firm on the ground of eclectic prog. The albums opens up with an old Snewlar composition that had already worked as one of the major assets of Gordian Knot's debut album: 'Reflections'. In thsi version, the mandolin is introduced in order to provide a refeshing magic in te hacoustic portions, and there is also a slightly enhanced melodic development somwhere in the middle passage. One way or another, oen version or another, it is always a pleasure to listen to this composition, it is so irresitibly appealing. 'Diseased State' is actually another old composition tha texisted before Snewlar became a recording artist: it is a bit closer to the standard of thrash metal, only with more emphasis on the neurosis than on aggressiveness: by thsi number, you can tell that this guy shares lots of conceptions with the guys behind the Canvas Solaris, Cynic and Behold The Archtopus names. The next 9 1/2 minutes of the album are occupied by the namesake track, which is the first sung piece in this repertoire. This one's mood is mostly contemplative and moderately languid, but with this extended timespan there is room for the emergence of some exciting variables whereby the instrumentation shifts toward shades of psychedelic darkness. The final acoustic guitar interventions fulfill the track's scheme quite gloriously. The metal-oriented stamina returns in full swing for 'The Ether Trail' ,which has to be one of the most muscular pieces that Snewlar has ever written, but it is not completely prog-metal: the indsutrial ornaments provided by some synth layers and most of the guitar lines bear a spacey nuance that defines the track's essence to a large degree. 'Ourselves' is the second sung track in the album: its mood is somewhat similar to that of 'Reflections', only a tad denser and a tad less agile. The result of that is that it gains a bit more of sonic power in comparison to the opener. The next thing is a pretext for Snewlar exorcising his academic ghosts: the lovely 'Etude No. 10' by Heitor Villa-Lobos benefits from an extensively creative rearrangement tha tgoes from a meticulous acoustic atmosphere to a sophisticated progressive architecture where fusion and technical metal become one single source of sound. The ending moments make a perfect climax of exquisiteness and dexterity. 'Concrete And Poison' is yet another vibrant exercise on prog-metal that sounds like Fates Warning-meets-Canvas Solaris. 'Hope' ends the album on a reflective note: a solitary guitar delivers calm arpeggios that softly cry out the mixture of melancholy and mental discipline that every hopeful heart should embrace. This is a beautiful way to end such a diverse, intelligently-elaborated album. To my ears, Snewlar is a genuine progressive master guitarist/writer of the new millennium.
Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Progressive metal with distinct mandolin and frantic acoustic passages provide a unique and welcome fusion in this genre. The greatest appeal for me on this album is the author's acoustic tendencies. Sure he down-tunes, but his strumming and picking provide a depth to his music that makes him stand out. There is an eclecticism to this album that makes it a winner. However, the tone of the drums in the metal parts is unconvincing, but in certain other passages, the drums fit perfectly. The acoustic passages and the tone of the bass are what set this album apart.

"Reflections" Tastefully immediate, the album launches into textured metal, in which each instrument can be heard with clarity. It has an element of folk music underneath the mayhem. This is a brilliant opener with many layers, sonic clarity, and an uplifting middle section.

"Diseased State" Bridging acoustic bits with flare-ups of jarring metal lead into atmospheric passages interrupted by a slaughterhouse of feeble heavy metal.

"A Familiar Path" This piece is far superior, returning to the deep acoustic-led textured music that I loved in the first track. At once organic and mechanical, it introduces the first vocals, which are thick, if dull, harmonies. An Alice in Chains fan, particularly one who loves Jar of Flies, would love this. It's also like recent Echolyn, and I'm even more a fan of that. Echolyn and Alice in Chains- any takers? I'll raise my hand first.

"The Ether Trail" Gritty bass, high-pitched synths and a foundation of drums and heavy guitars make this a unique affair on this album. It almost feels like a heavy metal "Heart of the Sunrise." But it quickly turns into something of its own, with screaming lead guitar.

"Ourselves" Acoustic guitars, bass, and cymbals lead into a heavier, albeit more brittle passage. The vocals are male and female but through a distorted telephonic effect. That may be effective in the first verse, but I cannot imagine them sounding worse with no such effects. They really should have done this song with little or nothing more than reverb. This would have been the highlight of the album. Maybe they'll release a live version of the song without the pointless vocal distortion.

"Etude No.10" As one may expect, this is a classical guitar piece that is more exciting though less captivating than Steve Howe's performance in "The Ancient." It clearly features a number of open-string pull-offs. It all leads into a fuzzy, full-on psychedelic metal experience, which is not bad, but perhaps not appropriate.

"Concrete and Poison" More immediate heavy metal pours through. It offers different textures, including clean guitars, harmonic lead guitars left and right, and a thick but hearable bass. Its variations include pounding metal and flowing flute-led passages. The latter half is a tad muddled, but Irish-inspired enough to like.

"Hope" A solo electric guitar jazz piece in dropped-D and heavy distortion fuels this farewell. If the album had not shown was a clever player Glenn Snelwar was, then this does. Somehow, I appreciate his tone, despite my personal taste (and my dead grandpa) telling me it should be otherwise.

Latest members reviews

5 stars WARNING! ABSOLUTE MUSICAL MUST FOR 2009! This 2009 year end comes with a sensational album and we are delightd to discover again that intelligence and aggression music are making good house together !I am honoured to be the first person who has the privilege to review such a marvelous album ... (read more)

Report this review (#253687) | Posted by Ovidiu | Monday, November 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of AT WAR WITH SELF "A Familiar Path"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.