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Stormhaven - Liquid Imagery

Stormhaven
Liquid Imagery
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 05 January 2019, 6:30 AM

STORMHAVEN is a 4 piece outfit from Toulouse, France. Not to be mistaken with STORMHAVEN from Salt Lake City Utah. This is the second full-length album for the band and as for the YouTube link, I couldn’t find anything on this album so I decided to put the mixing session of the band, which gives you guys another perspective on the making of an album. First of all, that album cover is off the carts awesome. I don’t know who is the artist behind it but it’s beautiful. It reminds me a bit of the covers from bands like IN FLAMES, OPETH or DARK TRANQUILLITY. It has a striking imagery to say the least. My compliments to the artist on the top notch job.

This is the second album with the current lineup and you can sense that there is even more chemistry than on their previous release: ‘’Exodus’’. The album is a concept album. This is the story of a one man against the storm. This is one man that has been alone on the sea for way too long and must face his biggest challenge, the oncoming storm. He sees his life flicker in front of his eyes and these are things he is thinking about before the storm hits him. The opener ‘’A Wayward Course’’ has some narration and it has that eerie ambiance of something that will happen to our main character. I loved the narration, it sets the tone for the rest of the album.

‘’The Storm’’ is more a less a more straight mid-tempo Progressive Death Metal song. It does have some Black Metal riffs but nothing major overall. The Death Metal vocals are exactly what this song needed and it’s a very strong opener to say the least. Not much clean vocals on this one and it didn’t need it nonetheless. Its a very keyboard-driven song as for a number of tracks on this release. The production is top notch, they seemed to have taken the right amount of time to make it as perfect as they could. You see that they put in the effort to make the production equally as important as the content of the album itself. Props to the guys for making the listener rightfully fulfilled.

‘’Starless Night’’ has some really cool Acoustic Vocals and the clean vocals are a nice touch. I would safely say that this song is my favorite of the album. It’s a very powerful song, it has a touch of sadness that you can feel from the first note to the last one. It’s a song that really stands out from the rest. ‘’Aurora’’ reminded me a lot of SYG:AR:TYR, with its atmospheric acoustic presence mixed in with some well-added punch of Black Metal vocals. It’s the most adventurous song of the album, mixing a bit of the newer and the old OPETH‘’Vesper’’ is a bit like ‘’Aurora’’, not lacking the energy and its more straight-forward Death Metal more than anything else. No acoustic guitars or drawn-out instrumental sections on this track!

‘’Abyss’’ is the strongest song of the album. It shows off the overall quality of the musicians at hand and boy it’s one loud song! It shows the diversity of the band, mixing one style with another and it’s a great representation of the sound of the band. As much as a thirteen minute last song is great, I thought ‘’Echoes’’ was a bit too long for my taste. It would have been better off to be maybe 7-8 minutes. It reminded me a lot of WINTERSUN, it’s good its substance for substance. It’s like adding water to juice, it’s a bit too much. It shows off some diversity but not as much as ‘’Abyss’’. I couldn’t wait for the song to send but it’s still a good song and a very solid second effort but a very very promising band.

Songwriting: 8
Originality:  7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Wayward Course
2. The Storm
3. Tides
4. Starless Night
5. Contemplation
6. Sirens
7. Abyss
8. Aurora
9. Vesper
10. Echoes
Lineup:
Zach – Vocals and Guitars
Régis – Vocals and Keyboards
Quentin Geniez – Drums
Jonathan - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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