Stolas
Living Creatures


4.0
excellent

Review

by pepster50 USER (2 Reviews)
March 25th, 2013 | 37 replies


Release Date: 03/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: GFOTY, complimented by intense instrumentation and guitar wizardry makes this an album to not ignore.

One of my favorite musicians, Will Swan, decided to start his own record label. The first band that he signed was Stolas. If Will Swan had deemed this band worthy to be the first band on his label, it stood to reason that they were worth checking out. The premier of the song “Madusa” had me enthralled and eagerly awaiting their debut album. Finally, Living Creatures is here and at the least it is a stimulating listening experience.

Right out of the gate, it is clear that guitarists Sergio Medina and Jason Weiche know their way around a fret-board. At the beginning of the first song “Thief & The Hourglass” the guitarists pound the listener with heavy yet melodic guitar riffs that tickle your ear drums. The song progresses from this to slower sections and then back to the onslaught. This is the norm for the entire cd. If you have listened to A Lot Like Birds or Dance Gavin Dance, you will be quite accustomed to this structure.

The main problem with this type of song structure is that it can be jarring; parts don’t seem to flow together and songs feel like a random assortment of parts. Stolas are pretty good at bypassing this flaw. Although a lot of parts could be taken from one song and placed into another without any considerable difference, they flow seamlessly together. For instance, the spoken word buildup into the solo near the end of “Our Last Night on Earth” is a great showcase of musicianship.

This album probably has the best collection of guest features a young band like this could hope for. I’m going to bullet point this list because it is so epic:
• Tilian Pearson – Dance Gavin Dance
• Jonny Craig
• Kurt Travis – A Lot Like Birds
• Cory Lockwood – A Lot Like Birds
• Donovan Melero – Hail The Sun

This is like the Oceans Eleven of albums. A truly superb cast that helps bring life to the album. One has to ponder the question as to why four of the five features are at the very end of the album. It would make more sense to spread them out evenly.

It is a good thing that these features are here though, because undoubtedly the weakest part of the album is the vocals. The clean vocalist is pretty good. He boasts a different tone than the rest of the bands in this post-hardcore scene. It is the harsh vocals that really drag down this album. There is just something about them that is grating to the ears. It’s really not that bad, but after giving the album a full run through, they feel very monotone and draining.

Even though some songs like “Panic” and “Destroyer” are kind of a miss, there are some real gems on here. The one minute interlude “The Greatest Illusion” is a mellow break with an infectious guitar riff and spoken word passage over-top. There is album highlights “Circuit Theory” and “Medusa”. Living Creatures also ends with the masterpiece that is “Captured Light”, a six minute barrage of guitar riffs and pulse pounding drums. This is easily the best track on the record.

Overall this is a great release, and anyone who spends time listening to the post-hardcore genre will find this a worthy addition to their collection. Make sure to pay attention to the Blue Swan Records roster, as it will be unlikely to disappoint; if Stolas is any indication.


user ratings (90)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
PoisonCupcakes (2.5)
A bow is useless, without a strong—sturdy pair of hands to aim it....


Comments:Add a Comment 
sspedding
March 25th 2013


4780 Comments


fanboyish review

Digging: Devil Sold His Soul - Belong ? Betray

pepster50
March 25th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I didn't know it was possible to be a fanboy for a band you heard for the first time two weeks ago lol

XingKing
March 25th 2013


10955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think these guys kind of bridge that sound gap between DGD and ALLB. Not as straight forward as DGD and not as experimental and complex as ALLB. They clearly have skill, but they lack the ability to craft memorable songs the way their contemporaries do. As the review states, many of the riffs in other songs could easily be interchanged and there would be almost no difference. The vocals are definitely the weak spot too and god damn all of those guest musicians. What is this, a rap album? They have potential to make something great though

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2013


20068 Comments


I thought it was a good review pos

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

elephantREVOLUTION
March 25th 2013


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they should have gotten will swan to rap a verse on here

pepster50
March 25th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

haha ya there is an insane amount of guests on here.

thanks atari !

Sauce
March 25th 2013


717 Comments


going this overboard with guest vocals just comes off as gimmicky.

pepster50
March 25th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hey man if you were releasing your debut album and got offered all these guest spots... you would say no?

I get what your sayin though

ddrfreak62
March 25th 2013


106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think its a pretty good album. I have to disagree about the harsh vocals though i loved them.

Calc
March 25th 2013


12298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good album. bout time someone reviewed this.

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

Calc
March 25th 2013


12298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

side note: that spoken word vomit on Our Last Night On Earth is probably the worst thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

pepster50
March 25th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it was the instruments I was mainly speaking of. They flow really well and buildup to the next part perfectly. It would definitely be better without the spoken word part. What they say makes no sense lol

pepster50
March 25th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"I think its a pretty good album. I have to disagree about the harsh vocals though i loved them."

surprised... to each his own I guess.

Calc
March 25th 2013


12298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with you on the instrument notion, what they say is what I was talking about

Azn.
March 26th 2013


5615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

a 4? oh boy get ready for my review of this, folks

pepster50
March 26th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

a 3s not that far down

Azn.
March 26th 2013


5615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah but it's supremely underwhelming, my review of it might be a 2.5

pepster50
March 26th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fair enough !

Thanatopsis
March 30th 2013


90 Comments


The spoken word parts on this album are awful. A Lot Like Birds and La Dispute do that style a LOT better. These guys just seem to be doing it because they heard other bands doing it. In fact, a lot of this feels like it's all been done before, and better. They have potential, but their songwriting needs a lot of improvement.

I actually liked the harsh vocals, but again, it seems like he's trying to imitate Cory Lockwood and Jon Mess at the same time.

Azn.
April 1st 2013


5615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the harsh vocals wear on



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