Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stigma - Concerto For The Undead (2010)

Italy's 'masters of horror' Stigma are back with their latest extreme metal homage to horror films & comics, titled Concerto For the Undead. Featuring lyrics based on the stories from the comic book series 'Tales From the Crypt', Concerto For the Undead is an unrelenting mixture of death metal and technical metal, a sure bet for fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour, Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse, and At the Gates. That being said, this is not the most original album to come out in recent memory, but the young horror hounds can sure play and they sound like they are having a blast here, so it's all good gory fun in the end. Plenty of weaving guitar riffs and herky-jerky soloing going on throughout Concerto For the Undead, as tunes like "Chop His Head Off!", "Prove You Are a Man!", and "The Undertaker" feature some impressive fretwork from Andrea Magnaldi. The tight rhythm section of drummer Stefano Ghigliano & bassist Flavio Magnaldi are more than capable, as they deliver some intricate blasts and rumbles, while singer Stafano 'Vlad' Ghersi provides a wide variety of Gothenburgh styled screams and growls. Unfortunately there's no lyrics provided in the booklet, which kind of takes the fun away from all of this, as you certainly can't understand a word that Ghersi is screaming about. Being able to read along to all the gruesome details really would have helped appreciate what the band were trying to accomplish here. Though some of the songs tend to sound a tad too similar, a few, like "What About a Terror Ride" and "A Grave Situation" are filled with some monstrously heavy riffs and gloriously textured tremelo picked meanderings that border on the more technical side of the genre. Honestly, there's a lot to like here, but don't expect to hear something new and fresh, and guys, next time you are planning on giving us a nice little tribute to a legendary comic like 'Tales From the Crypt', throw in the lyrics so we can join in on the fun.