Stolas
Allomaternal


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jade Royal EMERITUS
November 20th, 2014 | 71 replies


Release Date: 11/07/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We wither when we grow up

The more I listen to Allomaternal, the more I feel that the ending of “Hiraeth” is its most crucial moment. The earliest version of the song, released back in September, lacked this part entirely- the bridge of the song intensified the longer it went on, only to lead abruptly into a sequestered, swirling guitar riff. The conclusion felt unnatural because it was- the final version of the album’s leading single finally does what should’ve happened from the get-go, connecting the dots of its finale with a keen precision. This addition to “Hiraeth” is soft and wistful; it carries restraint, and progresses plainly and lightly. Words are screamed, but they’re placed through a filter, redirected to right outside the song’s spotlight. They exist to elicit emotion, not to conceive it. The song’s conclusion makes waves by causing imperceptible ripples- and, in turn, accentuates a certain kind of patience from which post-hardcore band Stolas could learn.

Just because I say that doesn’t mean I think there’s anything wrong with the Vegas-based group’s sound. It’s the kind of caffeinated caliber that I look for in modern post-hardcore; it’s fast-moving and instantly gratifying rock music that should rightfully make its predecessor Living Creatures proud. Songs like “Claw Point” come off as polished products of an older formula, but with fresher ingredients. Most notably, lead vocalist Jason Weiche has augmented his delivery in every way, affixing a more aggressive edge to his more dismal verses and a more charismatic croon for the moments that implore it. And when Carlo Marquez isn’t too swamped behind the drumkit on the album (and there are, surprisingly, times when this is the case,) he lends a hand on vocals- he proves his worth, for instance, by supplanting some Bixler-Zavala-esque higher notes into the emotional crux of “Solunar”. On top of this, Allomaternal provides more variety throughout its runtime than Living Creatures could ever dream of. While “Proving Grounds” brings to mind an On Letting Go-era Circa Survive, late album highlight “Losing Wings” recalls the pop-oriented euphoria in which Tides Of Man once dealt in spades. Some songs offer conciliatory passages in their more delicate moments, and others disburse guitar riffs so impregnable that one can’t help but wonder how Stolas do it: the band makes it look like the easiest thing to marry the light and dark, the two elements of their sound that make them who they are.

Still, there’s a particular forthrightness to Stolas’ sound that poses a bit of a dilemma. While the post-hardcore group seems to take pride in recording music it can scrupulously recreate onstage, those sounds have a distinct energy running through them, a singular electrical pulse that renders them a bit exhausting after too many listens. Now that Stolas has released an album that it feels is an accurate representation of its true sound, the band’s next obstacle is deciding whether it wants to channel its energy into crafting moments as subtly wondrous as the conclusion of “Hiraeth”, or if it’d prefer to let it all out via aggressive catharsis- not unlike the wall of noise assembled in the album’s final moments. Noise, more noise, then disintegration.




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user ratings (168)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
ification CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Stolas 2014 > Stolas 2013...

Daniel Morgan (4)
A rising star that hopefully won't burnout....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jade
Emeritus
November 20th 2014


10697 Comments


Been two months since I've done this reviewing thing, how we feeling today?

Brostep
Emeritus
November 20th 2014


4313 Comments


< 3

will read review shortly though this doesn't exactly look like my cup of tea. excellent work

CameronLaD
November 20th 2014


194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yup. Album is good. The next one will be better.

GreyShadow
November 20th 2014


1617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is growing on me harder than anything that has been released since the beginning of the year.

elephantREVOLUTION
November 20th 2014


2948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can't wait to see them play these songs live. i wasn't very into living creatures until i saw them

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

King Jacob returns (again)! Would I dig this?

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2014


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why do i even bother lol

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2014


6212 Comments


tbh Calc's review is more entertaining tbh

(I got your back)

Jade
Emeritus
November 20th 2014


10697 Comments


Thanks guys! < 3

ElephantRevolution: yeah man, I was in the same boat. Stolas really comes together live, and one thing I love about this album is how it really has those live vibes to it. I'd love to hear this one on a tour sometime soon.

Explosive: depends man, hmm. Have you listened to many other Blue Swan Records bands?

And Calc, our tastes are just so similar man. I always like your reviews though, don't let mine bother ya =]

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have you listened to many other Blue Swan Records bands?



I have not. Where should I begin?

CameronLaD
November 20th 2014


194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hail The Sun. Then Sianvar. Then Icarus the Owl.

SowingSeason
Moderator
November 21st 2014


24600 Comments


Not really a genre I'm into anymore, but I still enjoyed it anyway so yeah *high fives the 18 year old me*

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
November 21st 2014


1366 Comments


You've convinced me to check this out, though I find I'm enjoying modern post hardcore less and less. Nice words as per usual Jacob.

OwMySnauze
November 21st 2014


1680 Comments


Adventurer is another on Blue Swan that you guys should check out.

Digging: Adventurer - Sacred Grove

mazalthan
November 21st 2014


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review as always, honestly really digging this. It feels like such a large progression from "Living Creatures" in terms of sound as well as a new found sense of melody. Such can be seen in the climax of Claw Point, hard hitting/passion driven. I had the pleasure of seeing Solunar live on their most recent tour with HTS, and I was blown away. Personally very excited to see these guys get some well deserved recognition.

henryChinaski
November 21st 2014


3860 Comments


Judging from the recommended section this must be awesome. Will check out. Nice write-up!

Hopelust
November 21st 2014


2708 Comments


I loooove On-Letting-Go-era Circa Survive. Sounds like I might enjoy this. Cool album art. Any idea of the artist behind it?

Shiranui
November 21st 2014


536 Comments


Enjoyed the track, something tells me i should give this a try :]

Nomos
November 22nd 2014


1428 Comments


Wow. Haven't heard of these guys until now. THIS is why I browse this site daily - discoveries
like this. Amazing! Getting a big Circa vibe right now, in the best ways possible.

Edit: Bought album. I'm in heaven. This is great. Saosin + Tides of Man + Circa Survive?

beachdude
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2014


841 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna listen to this tomorrow, brilliant review as always.



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