Album: The Darkside
Released date: September 15th, 2017
Genre: Death Metal
Country: International (Sweden & Germany)
Label: Mighty Music
Stass is a death metal quintet at the helm of Crematory‘s Felix Stass and Paganizer‘s Rogga Johansson. For fans of both Crematory and Paganizer, you guys have already a clue of what Stass‘ music is all about. Indeed, it is pretty much a fusion of the traditional Swedish melodic death metal and gothic metal with a soft touch of doom elements.
Those who dig the Gothenburg sound and Scandanavian approach extreme metal will find the band’s debut full-length album “The Darkside” enjoyable and pleasing. In fact, even enthusiasts of a more doom-laden music and gothic flavored extreme metal music will take a lot of pleasure on this album. However, I personally deemed this record mundane and lacking of a heavy punch. But my judgment on this offering does not mean that the whole record is not worthy to listen to.
Tracks like “Warriors Land“, “Crawling from Ashes”, and “The Final Disease” are foot tapping and catchy into the ears of the listeners, though it has some pretty bland characters. The warmongering spark of the guitar riffs that are accompanied by hasty and pitiless means of the tenacious drum work brings forth a very bellicose manner to the mentioned songs. That evident blend between modern death metal and the presence of the raw essence of the genre during the early to mid-90s can be found on the songs that I had indicated above. Perhaps, if the rest of the tunes in this offering had the same characteristics with “Warriors Land“, “Crawling from Ashes”, and “The Final Disease”; the album would have been an entirely solid offering.
“Angel of Doom”, like the three songs I had uttered, is also an upside on this full-length. Its very sludgy and gloomy segments give a very nasty and hostile undercurrent to the song. The haunting mood of this one brings to mind a very similar sound that is found in the music of Candlemass and Paradise Lost. And though that unilluminated ambiance topped the whole nature of the track, its Swedish death metal feel can still be felt strongly throughout its whole playing time.
Outside the four catchy materials that I had mentioned, the rest of the tracks in the album are boring and to some extent frustrating due to the lack of savagery and atrociousness that a band labeled as death metal should have. I have the highest respect for both Felix and Rogga, as these two had accomplished numerous excellent recordings with their respective bands in the past, but what they had produced with Stass is just not that memorable and convincing enough to make “The Darkside” a worthy album that should stay in every metalheads’ collection shelves in a long time.
Overall, Stass had come up with a prosaic record with their debut “The Darkside“. Yes, there are a few decent songs in this release but the rest of the tracks are nothing but a bunch of uninteresting and forgettable materials. But I am not giving up on this band yet. For all one knows, these guys might pull something off good in the future that’ll make Stass a more interesting band to keep on my radar. After all, it’s Felix and Rogga that we are talking about here.
Originally written for www.thepitofthedamned.com