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Stortregn - Emptiness Fills the Void Award winner

Emptiness Fills the Void
by Caleb Kerns at 13 June 2018, 7:44 AM

Swiss metaller’s STORTREGN chose to name themselves after the Swedish word for “downpour,” a word that aptly embodies the nature of their music. Their brand of melodic black/death metal is characterized by layers of cascading riffs descending upon listener’s ear like heavy rains on a thunderous night. The group got their start in Geneva in 2006, and have since released four albums, the latest of which is “Emptiness Fills the Void.” Perhaps the most comparable bands are DISSECTION and THULCANDRA, who similarly blend melodic black and death metal riffs that sometimes border on traditional heavy metal.

The guitar work in this group is absolutely superb. Guitarists Johan Smith and Duran K. Bathija know how to incorporate melodic leads that accentuate the crushing rhythms rather than soloing just to sound flashy. Drummer Samuel Jakubec creates beats that emphasize the riffs but without relying too heavily on standard extreme metal blast beats. “The Eclipsist” begins with beautifully daunting acoustic guitars before blasting into epic, melodic riffs that sound like the soundtrack to the apocalypse. It’s downright relentless from beginning to end. Much of the composition is classically based, which is more apparent on tracks such as “Nonexistence” which begins with harmonizing guitars and leads into pummeling blast beats and euphonic tremolo melodies.

Rather than relying on your straight forward extreme metal riffing, the band isn’t afraid to add progressive tinges. The verses of “The Forge” utilize oddly accentuated riffs that create a sense of unease for the listener, but in a good way. The closing track “Children of the Obsidian Light” is a triumphant conclusion to an astronomical album. The song is chock-full of epic riffs and intense crescendos accompanied by visceral guitar solos. The album forgoes traditional black metal production standards and instead uses a more polished sound that allows plenty of breathing room amidst the chaos. I’ll go on record as saying that this is easily one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard this year. Rather than getting bored with the music, I actually found myself more enveloped as the album went on. I’ll be keeping my eyes on this band in the future.

Songwriting: 10
Originiality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Through the Dark Gates
2. Circular Infinity
3. The Forge
4. Nonexistence
5. The Chasm of Eternity
6. Lawless
7. The Eclipsist
8. Shattered Universe
9. Children of the Obsidian Light
Romain Negro - Vocals
Johan Smith - Guitars (Lead and Acoustic)
Duran K. Bathija - Guitars
Manuel Barrios - Bass
Samuel Jakubec - Drums
Record Label: Non Serviam Records


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