Review Summary: Spiraling in melodicism, in a traditional way.
Many interesting collaboration projects are popping up nowadays within the black metal scene, and Stirges
is definitely a noteworthy one, the least. Everything about this screams "this is a Shatraug project!"
which is a great thing, since the man is clearly one of the most active members of the Finnish black metal horde, proved by his legacy through being part of numerous bands and other collaborations.
was born totally in the spirit of traditionalism: the riffs, the song structures, the vocals etc. all sound very typical, accompanied by a quite modern and pleasing production. (Audible bass, yay!) The whole album flows really well - especially I greatly enjoyed the "typical Finnish melodic approach" with many sinister arpeggios and such, moreover I couldn't name any downpoint in the whole album.
Alltough, I admittedly felt this could have been something... more. I can't really put my finger on it, probably I just somehow feel Shatraug saved his best ideas for his main band, Horna. (Which is completely understandable.) This manifests in how this release feels a bit overlong. It might feel this way because aiming for more than 5 minutes long runtime per each song was also a bit overconfidient, and I think it dampened the listening experience. However, don't get me wrong: the album defintiely has that special sinister and grim aura that any black metaller should like. So, I'd say Striges' debut LP stands well on its own and has good replay value. And needless to say, anyone who enjoys the more traditional second wave direction filled with melodies should click with this.
It's not easy to talk much more about such a "conventional" album, so I can just advise anybody to go and give this a listen!