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Stagwounder – Abhold

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 14 January 2021, 6:39 AM

STAGWOUNDER is a German blackened doom band. This ep "Abhold" is their second release. They released a full length in 2015. They aren’t quite as raw as some blackened doom bands I've heard but they do have that melancholic sound. They also use melody very well to hold the songs together. What impresses me most about this album is how they layer these different melodic passages on top of each other.  I found this to be rather refreshing as a lack of melody makes a lot of bands sound the same in this style.  I don’t think anyone sounds like STAGWOUNDER.  They do have an evil, occult vibe to them sort of like a doom version of SKELETONWITCH.

The guitars absolutely nail down the balance of black and doom with riffs that could be considered both. The opening song, "From The Ivory Deathbed," opens with tasty clean guitar and some stupendous melodic bass. A guitar solo cuts in smoothly bring it's own melody. The song adds layer after layer but it never gets cluttered. The guitar solo in the songs mid section is very moving, showcasing the bands ability to be as creative and introspective as they semi searing and energetic.

Speaking of which the next track,"Council of Rats" is a full on battering ram. The fuzzed out riffs work so well with the blacked vocals—the haze and the fury are a potent combo. There is a sort of psychedelic feel to the song which only adds to the sinister atmosphere. The final minute or so is big riffs, melodic but thick bass and a cacophony of noises end the track in a big way. I found "Tongue Eaters" to be the darkest song on the album, with even the melodies better suited to be played as the night descends. The song builds up with a galloping intensity before backing off to let a guitar solo and that sweet sweet bass play off each other. After that the evil returns bringing with it doom and gloom.

The final track "Indra's Wounds," feels sort anthem like in the beginning. The vocals are low, scraping the bottom like gravel and bringing up with all sorts of nasty things. But the melodies are there for the counter balance. The last few minutes of the song are a huge audio feast of blankets of distorted sound and melodic guitar. This little EP contains an impressive amount of song writing a lot of great moments. STAGWOUNDER adds a lot more dimensions to their sound than many bands of this style. I can't wait for their next full length.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. From the Ivory Deathbed
2. Council of Rats
3. Tongue Eaters
4. Indra's Wound
Nein -Bass
S. Atanasov - Drums
Kohelet - Guitars
CS - Guitars
JR - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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