Stilllife - Requiem

When listeners turn to progressive metal, they usually expect highly melodic and complex music and lots of epic, lengthy tracks that tell stories. Well, Stilllife's debut album 'Requiem' is full of plenty of that. The band merges heavy metal with progressive so it sounds like a combination of Dream Theater meets Judas Priest, so the album is melodically heavy, but extremely enjoyable. Most will probably ignore the introduction as it is mostly a recorded spoken word section and they will want to skip right to the music. "A Godless World" brings attention to the older heavy metal structuring by focusing on hard riffs and fast drums mixed with clean vocals, sometimes echoing for a choral effect. It's actually pretty simple music, but that's wha the progressive metal tracks are for, such as the instrumental "12-Steps" which blends between fast riffs and just slow, easy going melodic solos that play off each other with the drums trying to keep up in a semi-percussive sense. The next few following tracks follow suite, switching between progressive and heavy metal formula to try and get listeners used to the band's overall focus. Then it comes to the lengtheir tracks, and the reason fans probably dove into this album in the first place.

"Hypocriticism" is the first epic offering and features a very complex and catchy offering that features plenty of 'echoing' vocal tones and an easy going pace that is simple but then softens up for the instruments to do more than just chug along, and the vocals even go for an experimental background effect that adds more progressive features to the music. Of course the music tends to switch back and forth between the two predictably, but the track closes on a very ambient and dreamy note that would certainly make prog fans happy if they're not into the whole raging keyboard solo. The three part "Requiem" is the highlight of the album, every part slightly different from the rest either in how they start, but mostly every track remains pretty heavy, from the slow starting "Oracle" to the haunting "Only Resolution." The band's ability to tell a cohesive story while not seeming random throughout this entire set is riveting, so even if listeners were only presented with these three tracks, it would still make the entire album seem completely worth it. Whether one is a fan of heavy metal or progressive metal (guitar focused that is), they're going to find that Stilllife is more than likely the kind of band they want to keep spinning over and over again.

  1. Intro To...
  2. A Godless World
  3. 12-Steps
  4. Fruit Of The Fallen Tree
  5. Directive Four
  6. Hypocriticism/ The Becoming
  7. Requiem Pt 1: The Oracle
  8. Requiem Pt 2: The Vision
  9. Requiem Pt 3: The Only Resolution

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jul 25, 2011

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