Stigma - When Midnight Strikes!

The Italian band Stigma has released a mid-length CD called WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES! On Pivotal Recordings and shows itself to be a metal band playing off themes of horror shows all around. “Walpurghis Night” opens the CD, followed by “I am Dracula” and “Silver Bullets and Burning Crosses.” There is something in the smoothness of this band’s style that reminds me of fellow Italians Aborym a bit, and I just do mean a tad. Stigma lacks nothing of Aborym’s more industrial sensibilities. But there is something in the guitar that is confident and easy. The rhythm itself is more along the lines of metal core. This makes sense as Stigma is influenced by gothic motifs instead of regular metal ones-such as Cradle of Filth is influenced by similar elements and has garnered pretty solid popularity worldwide. I think this aesthetic choice and influence combines into a sound that is more mainstream and will be accepted more than something akin to brutal death in Stigma would be. Also, some of the guitar licks in a track as well titled as “To Be Really Dead... That Must Be Glorious!,” bend to the easy rock core ear than to the brutal death ear.

I mean none of these comments as criticism per se, bands should develop their own sound and accept the fans that follow. That is the game. But Stigma as heavy as they are, lack a pure evil sound and the influence of horror film plants this band squarely in the realm of good musical entertainment and not in the gore grinders’ camps or bands that riff off certain philosophical points of view-be they political or abstract in some other way. That being said, Stigma contains sounds reminiscent of smooth ultra-talent groups such as Lamb of God (in a minor way) and between the Buried and Me (much more so). Those are quality groups and Stigma will hold its own in the scene with such comparisons I believe. WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES! is an entertaining first release and I suspect there will be more great discs in their future.

1. Walpurghis Night (intro)
2. I Am Dracula
3. Silver Bullets And Burning Crosses
4. To Be Really Dead... That Must Be Glorious!
5. Flesh Ritual
6. Beneath The Crown Of Eternal Light
7. Blood, Your Precious Blood!
8. A Call For Vengeance
9. Walking The Fields Of Apocalyps
10. Sons Of Midnight
11. Epitaph Of Pain (re-mix bonus track)

Videoclip I Am Dracula

Pivotal Recordings
Reviewer: Jesse
Feb 26, 2009

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