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Stomb - The Grey

AKelly   (133 reviews)

Posted: 01/03/2016 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Stomb is a 4-piece metal band hailing from Paris, France. Their sound is hard to pin down, but at their core I would say they're a (mostly) instrumental band with lots of groove metal and progressive metal influence. At points there are some more melodic and almost post-metal sounding passages as well. All of this might sound okay on paper, but with their record entitled "The Grey," Stomb doesn't do much to reward the listener. Rather, they have a collection of ten songs that overstay their welcome and get tiresome to listen to.

This is one of the harder reviews I've had to write because it's difficult to explain to someone what Stomb sounds like. There weren't any stand-out parts that I can refer to, as there is just a slew of riffs thrown at you without any real noticeable structure. Think something along the lines of Periphery or Meshuggah, but without the replay value and memorability. Sure, a lot of progressive metal is out there and experimental, but I can remember parts from bands like Dream Theater or Tool because their songwriting is great. With Stomb, it feels like they've collected a lot of pretty cool riffs and grooves and just put them all together without any real care for the feel of the song. What makes it even more difficult to listen to is the lack of vocals. You're getting pummeled with these chugging, down-tuned guitars and complicated drum patterns-there's so much emphasis on rhythm it'd be nice to hear some melodic vocal content. Just listening to the record, I could hear potential for soaring vocal melodies at points, maybe something in the vein of Periphery. At the very least, some screamed vocals could have complimented their sound nicely. But unfortunately, there isn’t any real singing on this record. There is a spoken part in the first track "The Complex" as well as a sample I recognized from True Detective in "Under the Grey." Other than that, there are no vocals, and throughout the album there isn't one sang note.

My favorite song on the record is "The Crossing." This is a laid back, ethereal, and atmospheric track that only lasts 2 minutes and 21 seconds. It also marks the only time on the album where I actually wished a song had gone on longer. The next shortest song is 5:40, but some of the songs last up to around 9 minutes.

Although most of what I have to say about this album might seem negative, the production and performance on this album is very good. There's a lot of difficult, technical parts which are executed very well. However, that doesn't always translate to memorable songwriting. With not a ton of variation and no vocals, this album is very aptly titled "The Grey" - there's no real color or shining example of anything worth another listen here. I can see how my analysis may seem a bit harsh. However, instrumental metal is a genre where top-notch songwriting is essential, and Stomb has missed the mark with this album.


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