Review Summary: In Soviet Russia, technical Death Metal plays you!
I can remember the tape and cd trading days of my youth. Hearing of new bands from a third dub from the tape a friend had by recoding another friend’s vinyl. Not the best way to experience new music, but aside from MTV it was all one could do. Flash forward to 2013. I can sit rather comfortably in my chair and listen to a new EP stream from a mostly unheard of Russian band and post a review so that you fine folks can partake as well. I can download the tracks instantly, link songs to my social media network, It is awesome.
A few days ago a friend had posted a link for me from Stormchoir’s Facebook page, or the Soviet equivalent thereof. They are a technical death metal band very much in the vein of late Death, Cynic and Atheist, though they lean much towards the former. Check YouTube and you can find some excellent live covers from them. They have released and are streaming a 7 track EP that is rather excellent. I will be the first to admit that I do not give bands outside of the US and Europe much play time. This is a sad fact, and something that I am trying hard to correct; music does not just exist in English speaking countries. Still, I have an easier time enjoying bands whose lyrics are in my native language and that may be a reason this release has garnered more of my listening time.
Starting off with a few tense moments of piano work the listener is blasted into some excellent riffing from the band with a sound bite overlay. A few moments later the keyboards kick in, and the music gets progressively more and more intricate. Immediately the technical skill of the band shines through. The vocals are straight out of the mid 90’s death metal handbook. There are some clean vocals littered here and there, but not enough to tilt this towards the metalcore end of the spectrum. Combined with the excellent keyboards they add a very progressive lean to the music (which is why I mentioned Cynic and Atheist earlier). The keys are interesting, as they sound like a mix between early Children of Bodom and any random 90’s power metal band. The drumming is the standout feature here. The production and the skill level involved give it that oh so important feeling that there is a real person sitting the throne, not just a machine. The bass is under-utilized. Not that the skill is not there, when it has a chance to shine it does, but those opportunities are few and far between.
I am not usually one for reviewing un-released bands, but people that enjoy a good romp under the tech/death sheets need to give this one a spin.