Review: Stygian

With their first album since 2013’s Requiem For Us AllThe Modern Age Slavery are back from obscurity. The band have eight brand new songs and a Pantera cover version. The album is certainly short, but is it sweet?

Released through Innerstrength RecordsStygian is a serious ear full of an album. It certainly hits all those metalcore and death metal traits that is plastered all over the press release. There are hard to understand growling vocals, a varied array of riffs from the book of “how to be xtreem!”, all of which is held together by some fairly robotic blast beat driven drumming.

By all means, this is highly unremarkable stuff but it is far from being terrible. The music itself has a lot of good hooks and the lead guitar playing throws in some nice licks every now and again, even if it is a little too infrequent for my cup of tea. My problem is the fact that the drumming could have been a drum machine for all I care. The vocals are awfully dull, no character what soever and actually grates on me a bit. Admittedly, they’re not the worst vocal tracks I have heard recently. That much is certain.

There is also the fact that alongside every other band of this metal sub-genre, that the guitar tone is that low, it makes the bass guitar nearly indecipherable with exception of the moment where they do a “bass drop” or whatever term is used these days. That trademark metalcore “sound” I find is uncomfortable and just horrid on the ears. It has done nothing for me but produce headaches, please stop it.

Stygian is far from the worst metalcore/death metal album I have heard. It certainly has some good riffage and lead guitar breaks. But those moments are few and far between with the majority of the album being fairly standard and cliché. I don’t care for the sound and I never will. But I have certainly heard a lot worse.

Rating : 6 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Prelude to an Evolution
  2. The Reprisal Within
  3. Miles Apart
  4. The Theory of Shadows
  5. The Place We Call Home
  6. A Stygian Tide
  7. The Hollow Men
  8. Regression Through Unlearning
  9. Sandblasted Skin (cover)

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