Stigma - _When Midnight Strikes!_
(Pivotal Recordings, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (7 out of 10)
Proving that the Italian music scene can play host to more than simply thrash-obsessed traditionalists and nu-goths, is Stigma's blend of hardcore's full-frontal pummelling and death metal's singularly visceral assault. No prizes for noting that this combination has been done to death many times over, but in the hands of this feisty quintet, _When Midnight Strikes!_ turns out to be an admirably competent and listenable effort. Tracks like "I Am Dracula" and "Flesh Ritual" are imbued with enough heavyweight groove to sink a Nimitz battle cruiser, while singer Vlad belts out endlessly gory diatribes with a Jasta-like fervour. It's all pretty relentless too, which proves good for at least a half an hour's worth of entertainment, but come the disc's conclusion you'll likely feel as though you've taken the same sledgehammer to the noggin a few more times than is healthy.


(article published 11/5/2008)

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