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Stengah – Soma Sema

Stengah
Soma Sema
by Issy Herring at 23 May 2022, 1:40 PM

STENGAH’s debut album is here! The French modern metal quintet, hailing from Lille were created in 2013. They released the first single on the compilation titled “Above Inhumanity” in October 2021, before following up with three more tracks “At the Behest of Origins”, “He and the Sea” and “Message in Memories”. Moving on to 2022 and STENGAH have released their debut album “Soma Sema” on March 18th, 2022, via Mascot Records.

The first track on the release is “Weavering”, which starts off well with a roaring guitar riff; most certainly grabbing your attention from the initial second. As the track evolves, we are treated to melodic instrumentals. This is fantastic as a starter track, as they really help to introduce you to the album and what is yet to come on the record. Next up is “At the Behest of Origins”, which kicks off with an electrifying riff. Seconds later, Nicolas Queste’s explosive vocals do the talking for the rest of the track. It really shows off his varied vocal range, changing things up effortlessly from clean to unclean vocals in a flash. As the song goes on, the track levels up by adding some almost prog influences, not too dissimilar from AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN.

“Above Humanity” begins with thumping instrumentals, before quickly evolving into a heavy metal sound identical to SLIPKNOT. Unfortunately, despite the fantastic sounding production, this song doesn’t have a lot of lasting power. Before the track truly starts, we are treated to almost a minute of great instrumentalisation in “Swoon”. As the track progresses, Nicolas Queste’s vocals really shine through here – what an incredible talent! The song is constantly evolving and changing, as we have seen with a lot of singles on this album so far. As a result, you don’t know what to expect as a listener, which makes it that bit more exciting. “Lumen” is a completely different vibe. Starting off with a slow, almost acoustic sounding guitar riff, the song then quickly amps up the ante with some almost djent sounding riffs. It’s very interesting at the end, as Queste’s vocals sound very similar to that of CHINO MORENO from DEFTONES.

“Message in Memories” is in a similar vein to the last, with a slow opening riff taking the lead. In a few moments Nicolas Queste’s vocals add some flavour to the song. His voice sounds very similar to SEPULTURA’s DERRICK GREEN at the beginning, with some DEFTONES influences creeping in yet again shortly after. “Blank Masses Inheritance” begins with an easy listening guitar riff, which is pleasant to listen to. Aside from that, I feel like the song lacks depth, sounding very similar to other tracks on the album. It would have been great to have some sort of diversity throughout the compilation. “He and the Sea” is up next, which starts off on a slightly different note with a progressive metal style riff being the centre of attention within this track. It is actually quite addictive! Additionally, there are more SLIPKNOT influences here, with the melodies reminding me a lot of their older discography.

“The Overman” easily has one of the most infectious riffs on the album, constantly evolving from start to finish. The song is dissimilar to the rest, as it incorporates some saxophone type instrumentals in the midst of the song, almost adding a theatrical like feel.  The final track on the album is “Offering”. From the get-go, this song is varied and different to the rest with the clash of harmonies at the start really adding a touch of uniqueness. Even though this album is fairly lacklustre in parts, the album does end on a good note with this song.

Overall, the production and musicianship within STENGAH’s “Soma Sema” is really good. You can easily tell that they are a bunch of talented musicians, but at the same time it is pretty obvious that this is their first body of work. Sadly, they have a long way to go in terms of memorability. On the other hand, I do appreciate that they are trying to dip their toe into a range of genres such as prog metal and djent. It will be interesting to see what they do next.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 4
Production: 9

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Weavering
2. At the Behest of Origins
3. Above Inhumanity
4. Swoon
5. Lumen
6. Message in Memories
7. Blank Masses Inheritance
8. He and the Sea
9. The Overman
10. Offering
Lineup:
Nicolas Queste – Vocals
Maxime Delassus – Lead Guitars
Alex Orta – Rhythm Guitars
Benoit Creteur – Bass
Eliott Williame – Drums
Record Label: Mascot Records
     


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Edited 07 July 2022
 

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