Stolas
Stolas


3.5
great

Review

by Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (78 Reviews)
March 24th, 2017 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Can less equal more?

The thing that turned me on to Stolas more so than their apparent talent was the completely organic approach they took in creating their sophomore release Allomaternal. There was no pretense, no gimmick, no shameless pandering to the masses that were swiftly being wooed by the spectacle that was Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds, just good old fashioned practice and maturity resulting in a product not wholly unlike its predecessor yet somehow better in every way. Self-titling their third album is a subtle gesture towards Stolas’ new three-pronged attack after releasing guitarist and lead vocalist Jason Welche into free agency. Charging into the unknown with drummer Carlo Marquez serving duel lead singer/drummer duties, Stolas delve a little deeper into their cerebral brand of post-hardcore. Like previous efforts, Stolas isn’t out to “melt-faces”, “crush skulls” or any other disfiguring horrors, it’s more or less a thinking-man’s post hardcore, a technically proficient progressive album with heavy post-hardcore elements rather than the reverse. This approach is very conducive to the group’s mentality and it’s wonderfully realized throughout the album. A realization due to the fact that Stolas quietly boasts some of the best musicians in the scene. Sergio and Carlo in particular shine brightest on Stolas, and with the former having complete control over the rhythm and lead guitars and the latter delivering another stellar performance, the band has never sounded tighter or more creative.

The vocals however remain a weak point for the group on Stolas. Carlo does a serviceable job on his first stint as lead, but with the progress Welche showed in Allomaternal erased and the artistic decision to forgo screaming, the vocal melodies become dull after a few listens and are frequently delivered with little charisma. The problem isn’t solely Carlo’s however as the progressive nature of Stolas doesn’t exactly lend to flamboyant vocal stylings. Much like Allomaternal there’s an energy present throughout Stolas, an energy that simultaneously propels and fuels the album and is the reason the album lacks staying power. Moodiness is a non-factor as Stolas progresses at a very defined pace and lacks dynamism in the song structures, relying (and largely succeeding) on the variety of technical treats peppered within the framework of the songs. The hi-hat play in album highlight “Catalyst” is fantastic, particularly in the chorus, and the way Sergio utilizes string bending in “Euphoria” is clever and original, but these treats only reveal themselves to a certain variety of music listeners. Regardless of its shortcomings, Stolas is not a regression. The sound is a natural evolution from what the group gave us in Allomaternal. The highs are not as high and there isn’t anything that could be called a low point, but for what it is, Stolas is a technical marvel, created by robots with mathematical precision. But I can’t help but feel if the boys let loose and created a balls-to-the-wall rock album, they would set this scene alight.



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user ratings (72)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the technical wank they subtlety throw in these jams . Please let me know about the review gents and lady





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkwONb_Mm8Q

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"stolas'"



That apostrophe doesnt need to be there

Digging: Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery Disasters

Thealwaysopenedmind
March 24th 2017


698 Comments


Good review. I was sad to hear about Welche's departure. I listened to some of it today and it's alright so far. It's going to take awhile. It seems all my favorite bands are ditching screams in one way or another.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Also "the thing that turned on me" makes no sense unless im

Reading it wrong

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks mort. there was a lot of cut/copy/pasting editing here and I missed some mistakes.

hortanz
March 24th 2017


800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I got onto these guys recently, like a month or two ago, and I was also sad to learn about jason's departure since allomaternal was by and far leagues better than living creatures and showed a lot of promise.

then the single for this album came around (bellwether) and I was a little concerned cause it seemed like they took a lot of influence from elsewhere, but the more I listened to it the catchier and more intricate I noticed the instrumentals were. the whole album, I'd say I enjoy it pretty well though it does drop off a bit around cold & unmanageable for me.

I do agree that carlo's melodies get a little boring after a bit. honestly it sounds like a totally different band to me. I'm glad they are still able to keep it up even after the loss of a vocalist and guitarist and adjusted and made a strong effort here, I'm pretty pleased overall that they still maintained quality and made some stylistic changes. lot of rambling here but overall this is pretty cool



also maximizer sounds like mega man music

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


15060 Comments


A no "melt face", "crush skull" post hardcore band? Um, I may dig this.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2017


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you might dewinged! i actually liked bellwether when i first heard it despite how different it sounded. there are like 4 standout tracks on this and other than the first two, the second two are harder to get to now compared to when i first heard this

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2017


14171 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

good review overall man, will have to check this out at some point

Tyler.
March 25th 2017


16457 Comments


Maybe I'll check these guys. Idk how much I'll like it tho

sexpoi
April 4th 2017


648 Comments


Yeah, I listened to the beginning off the first song and assumed I would not like this because, goodness gracious, those vocals are grating and nasally as hell. Welche's vocals were at least better than that and fit the music better.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2017


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm actually a big fan of the first song, there's like 4 i really like here.

GreyShadow
April 5th 2017


2931 Comments


You nailed how I feel about this. Catalyst is definitely the highlight here, that riff is sick as hell.
I also really like the opener and closer with Anecdoche, Bellwether, and Cold & Unmanageable right behind them.

Digging: Blaqk Audio - Only Things We Love

GreyShadow
April 5th 2017


2931 Comments


I saw them live the other day and they killed it, so much great energy despite no Jason. Sergio does the screams for the songs that need them and he actually sounds really good (live anyway). I think screaming is something they should return to because what they had worked far too well on Allomaternal. Also, Carlo becomes a little much at times and I think he sounded much better on the last release.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2017


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i've heard nothing but good things about them live. maybe i'll catch them out one night

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2017


15060 Comments


Jammed the first 4 songs this morning and reminded me a lot of Coheed and Cambria. Good stuff, man. Heard a lot of complaining about the voice too, but I dunno, I think it fits the music.

hortanz
April 6th 2017


800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

they kick so much ass live, I saw them saturday and they blew me away

GreyShadow
November 19th 2017


2931 Comments


gotta listen to this again at some point to see how it holds up.

wail
December 4th 2017


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

don't really like the vocals, it's like they lost their fangs compared to Allomaternal

GreyShadow
December 4th 2017


2931 Comments


I mostly agree, but I don't hate them. I loved the cleans on Allomaternal too so I really don't get why they sound so weak here.



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