Artist: Stiny Plamenu
Album Title: Zelezo Krvaci
Label: Barbarian Wrath
This is the third full-length album from Stiny Plamenu, a Czech band playing sewer-themed black metal.
The guitar sound on this album is high and cutting, with tremolos aplenty. Some of the guitar parts have had a spacey effect applied to them, as well. Vocals are snarled, and have a sense of melody to them, one that makes them a major component of the music. Opera style vocals make an occasional appearance, too. There's some very cool bass work here, if you listen for it. The drumming is programmed, but not blatantly so.
Stiny Plamenu combines the speed of Marduk with the quirky songwriting of Master's Hammer, to create something that doesn't sound very much like any other band. This album has a cold sort of atmosphere, so much so that the music seems to be floating in the void, completely detached from reality. That's no easy trick, considering the speed at which this band is playing. Even the relatively mid-paced moments are fast. Some bands pile on speed at the expense of originality, but Stiny Plamenu mixes in plenty of melody and heaviness. They know when to vary speed to change things up a bit, and each song has its own memorable sound. "Rany Zrady" alone is worth the price of the CD, with its swaggering theme, atmospheric vocals, and cosmic guitars.
"Zelezo Krvaci" is even better than Stiny Plamenu's earlier albums. Everything here has been stripped down and distilled, until there's not a bit of filler left. If you're looking for speedy, technical black metal with a bit of Czech madness to it, this album should serve you well. If you do get this, be sure to put it in your computer, as there's an extra video clip. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Images of Brickwork Sewers", "Rany Zrady", "Lord Zentistrof"