STORMLORD are BACK with their long awaited sixth album, Far! The record drops on May 24, 2019 on Scarlet Records, but you can get a taste of the madness to come right here, right now. This release is by FAR (horrible pun), the band’s fastest and most aggressive album to date. What stood out to me most about this album was the symphonic elements and arrangements from start to finish. Looking at Far from merely an orchestral standpoint, it’s almost evident that the “traditional metal band” aspects of the band took a backseat this time around. This is a huge sounding musical effort from front to back, forcing STORMLORD‘s normal go-to descriptor, “epic metal”, to be a gross understatement.
As per usual, the band is going all out with a diverse vocal spread. In the harsh range, the shrill high screams, mids and gutturals are aplenty. As for clean vocals, the male melodies are a little more grounded this time. In the past, I’ve heard a lot of Pete Steele influence in STORMLORD’s male cleans, but on Far, the band has taken a “middle of the road”, almost comfortable approach to singing. Songs like “Sherden”, play it safe and in the pocket with the singing parts, shifting the greater emphasis onto the sheer aggression in the scream deliveries. The same can be said for the entire album.
Take a listen to STORMLORD’s last album, ‘Hesperia’ (2013)
This album also comes jam packed with cool lyrical themes that keep things interesting. The song “Cimmeria” pays tribute to Robert E. Howard (author of Conan The Barbarian), while songs like “Romulus”, reference the glory of ancient Rome. A lot of the other lyrical content focuses on the traditions of the Mediterranean peoples.
STORMLORD are an extreme, epic metal act that fully utilize all six of their members at any given moment. Every song is big, bombastic, theatrical and extremely well composed. Everything is perfectly crafted to tell amazing tale after amazing tale, right down to the cover art, which was done by Gyula Havancsák (Accept, Wintersun, Stratovarius, Destruction, Wintersun). Both the playing and production on Far are beyond exceptional. It was recorded by Giuseppe Orlando (Novembre) and Riccardo Studer (STORMLORD’s keyboardist and orchestral programmer). It was then mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at Domination Studios in San Marino.
This new album, along with all of its predecessors is perfectly calibrated to entice fans of Dimmu Borgir, At the Gates, Cradle of Filth and Behemoth. Though, when comparing STORMLORD to bands like Dimmu or COF, I think it’s important to only reference the older material by both bands. I also think that fans of Fleshgod Apocalypse would champion these guys, as well.
This was yet another masterpiece out of Italy I had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Please listen and enjoy. Thanks for your time!
Cristiano Borchi: Screams –
Gianpaolo Caprino: Guitar, Synth, Clean Vocals –
Andrea Angelini: Guitar –
Francesco Bucci: Bass, Lyrics –
Riccardo Studer: Keyboards, Piano, orchestral programming –
David Folchitto: Drums