Solitude 24/7

Written by: PP on 15/11/2008 23:55:44

This is the third Stigma album to be reviewed in this year. Nope, it has nothing to do with the up-and-coming deathcore act carrying the same name from Italy, nor with the recently reviewed Agnostic Front singer Vinny Stigma's solo record. This one is a Trondheim, Norway based (experimental?) rock band that uses unusual elements such as church organs and howled male vocals in their music to distinguish themselves from the rest. "Solitude 24/7" is the group's fifth full length release, and it is presented to us in the form of a concept, a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the life of a bachelor during a one week period.

Stigma's way of depicting the concept is to play short, guitar-driven 'interlude' songs bearing the name of the day - "Monday", "Tuesday", and so on - which precede each 'actual' track. These serve as attempts to create a foreshadowing mood, which is then told as a story in the songs that follow. At first, this is a really cool feat and adds intrigue to the album, but once you reach "Thursday", the constant interruption of flow on the album becomes damn annoying, especially because the 'real' tracks on the album are largely good pieces of music. You can expect classically tuned guitar leading the way with interesting hooks and melodies, paving the way for vocalist Robertsen's medium-range clean vocals that are somewhat heavy-metal inspired. On some tracks, Robertsen (or is it the backup vocalist Hindhammer? I'm not certain) delivers deep growling instead, possibly to depict the deep dissatisfaction of the said bachelor, but these are too weak to make a real effect. Instead, they make the band sound inexperienced not only musically but also in recording technique. Occasionally, some sort of flute supplements the band's music, giving it a slightly traditional/folk-ish feel, and if you ask me, when they combine the acoustic guitar melodies with a flute backing, they are at their very best. It's too bad there are only few songs on the album where this occurs.

While the actual songs on "Solitude 24/7" are experimental twists on the melodic rock genre, the album as a whole suffers heavily from the constant flow-breakers in the form of the 'day' songs as described earlier. Had the band dropped these out and written a few more tunes instead, this could've been something for the experimental crowds. The way it stands now, you might enjoy a couple of songs, but not the album as a whole.


Download: Live As I Die, The End (Of The Road)
For the fans of: Poisonblack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.07.2008
Tyntis Records

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