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Stortregn – Impermanence Award winner

by Gary Hernandez at 23 February 2021, 10:54 PM

Take five words: Technical. Death. Black. Melodic. Metal. Now mix them up any which way you want, and they will form but one word. And a Swedish word at that — STORTREGN. Yep, amazing. When I typed it into Google Translate, I was expecting something like “black grave of impenetrable darkness.” I think my computer expected the same thing because I swear, I felt the keyboard flinch. As it turns out, “stortregn” is Swedish for heavy rain, or downpour. It’s also the moniker of a metal band out of Geneva, Switzerland that embodies each of those five words we started with. Their fifth full-length album, “Impermanence” will be released on March 12, 2021 on The Artisan Era. It’s a veritable downpour of metal goodness.

So STORTREGN formed back in 2006, though some people may say as early as 2005. There’s been enough lineup changes to form at least two other full bands, but that’s the way it goes at the rock ‘n’ roll show. As I mentioned, they have five full albums plus an EP and one split. So, if you’re new to STORTREGN and you dig this album, which you probably will, it’s going to cost you some cash to catch up.

“Impermanence” consists of eight tracks and clocks out around the 45-minute mark. There are no interludes, outros, or instrumentals, though the title track includes classical guitar flourishes and doesn’t have a trace of vocals until the last quarter. There are two guest appearances.  André Merlin momentarily returns to the band to offer up a guest solo on “Cosmos Eater” for which he also collaborated on the writing. Alessia Mercado (MURGE) also provides vocal support on "Ghosts of the Past." And if you’re thinking, soprano symphonic, think again. She has been aptly described as “half human, half hurricane.”

How to describe this album? Technical and melodic are good starting places, though technical sometimes suggests Math or Prog and, in this case, I think it just means way talented. Melodic is spot on. Things I love about this album are the classic guitar flourishes. I also love that Romain isn’t compelled to belt vocals every minute and is secure enough to let the band just run. And the solos. The guitar solos are just gorgeous. The production values are also stellar.

Favorite tracks are hard to pick, but if I have to go with the best of the best I’ll go with “Cosmos Eater,” “Impermanence,” “Multilayered Chaos,” and “Timeless Splendor.” And I have to say there is a segment in “Timeless Splendor” that bears a jazz inference that’s smoother than that one killer bourbon you had that one time at that place. The whole song is simply stunning, but that spot from the 2:08 thru 4:38 is so immaculate they should name a saint after it.

Yeah, so break out that card and pre-order “Impermanence” and then pony up for that back catalogue, and you might as well spring for some vinyl backup and get some shirts while you’re at it. STORTREGN may just be the best band you never hear of.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Ghosts of the Past
2. Moon, Sun, Stars
3. Cosmos Eater
4. Impermanence
5. Grand Nexion Abyss
6. Multilayered Chaos
7. Timeless Splendor
8. Nénie
Romain Negro – Vocals
Johan Smith – Guitars, classical guitar
Duran Bathija – Guitars
Manuel Barrios – Bass
Samuel Jakubec – Drums
Record Label: The Artisan Era


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