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  STORMGREY
'Pray. Crawl. Suffer.'
(Vic Records) Out now


jools green

Jools Green



stormgrey

Lithuanian Metal is a completely new entity to me but if death/ thrash five piece Stormgrey are anything to go on it’s something I will be looking into further.

The band’s roots lie in the Death Metal of the 90s and all members are seasoned musicians drawn from the Lithuanian Metal /thrash scene and as a result their sound is heavily influenced by that era, particularly bands like Death, Atheist, Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Bolt Thrower and early Sepultura, but they also manage to put their own interesting slant on the sound.

‘Pray. Crawl. Suffer.’ consists of ten tracks of very likable, old school, Death Metal and sound-wise they have the addition of a deathly groove which makes it very listenable. The drum work is powerful, standing its ground alongside the guitars and vocals.

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Rimtautas Piskarskas, does an excellent job on vocals, they are mostly very raw and rasping but with a good degree of clarity.

The bass work is subtle but effective and within the overall sound there are subtle little twists where they take a different approach to their construction and delivery.

Maybe it’s a Lithuanian thing but whatever the reason it works well and sounds great and all ten tracks have been tried and tested live prior to laying down on this debut release - probably another reason why they sound so good.

Opening track ‘Fury’ has a noticeable Bolt Thrower influence with the added extra of some great down tuned bass work from Liudas Remeika,, but it’s all change midway with an intense elevation to the tempo, becoming chaotically manic, in a good way, returning to the original tempo to close.

‘Crawl Through Suffer’ has a great mix of both pounding, punchy riffs and hypnotic, spiralling riffs from guitarists, Arunas Mikolajunas and Raimondas Kieras along with a great drawn out delivery on the vocals including superb tortuous screams in the second half.

Punchy, rapid paced and intense, with a lot of direction changing makes ‘My Demon’ an intriguing listen.

‘New Eye’ is slower with sleazy riffs and deeper, growly and nicely protracted vocals for the first half, then the pace ramps up and the mood changes to a more rocking mid pace and the gravelly edge to the vocals return. It’s not long before the whole thing becomes darker, deeper and more sinister with punchy riffs, I love this track.



‘Rising Waters’ is slower and dark to open with sultry bass work and punchy riffs alongside a sinister vocal delivery with the pace turning frantic and racy midway adding an exciting edge. There is an underlying groove which is more prominent in the second half, giving a very sinister but listenable quality to this track making it another favourite with me.

Sinister spoken vocals alongside thrashy riffs set the scene for ‘Dear Jesus’ a superbly dark track with an equally dark underlying groove and an exhilarating shredding finish, a superb listen.

‘Masquerade’ is dramatic and in your face to open, with precise drum rhythms and punchy repeat riffs that embed in your mind and a second layer to the vocals alongside the deeper growls. They are sinister, scathing and harsh with an almost spoken delivery along with great midpoint lead work, an excellent track that put me in mind of early Chain Collector material, particularly their album coincidentally also called Masquerade.

The bands namesake track ‘Stormgrey’ has a superb, subtly off kilter groove that sits so well beside the punchy riffs and rich gravelly growls which are nicely protracted, along with great latter part lead work and precise and unrelenting drum work.

With a title like ‘Smoke That Pot’ you might expect a track with a doomy/stoner edge but this is rapid and crushing in its delivery, although it does drop away in the last minute but with more of a breakdown style to its delivery.

stormgrey

Final track ‘Holy Bitch’ pulls all the stops out with opening riffs that give a passing nod once more to Bolt Thrower, along with a broad range of vocals; sinister sneering roars, unnerving whispers and raw gravely growls as well as harsh spoken elements. The groove is hypnotic, tight and unrelenting and the drum work from Viktoras Mogilo-Žano complex and precise, a crushing and memorable final track.

‘Pray. Crawl. Suffer.’ was recorded at MuzLab studio (Vilnius) and mixed and mastered by a man who always demands and delivers a certain level of excellence, Dan Swanö at Unisound Studios (Germany).

The cover art is by British artist S.V. Mitchell. If you like old school Death Metal with a thrashy edge then I recommend giving this a listen - it starts off good and just gets better and better the further in you get.

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15.10.15















 




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