Stigmata - _The Gods of Earth and Heaven_
by: Alain M. Gaudrault (not rated)
One look at their WWW homepage and you know who inspired this trio to pick up instruments. While they openly admit to being heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, I personally found a greater resemblance to Alice In Chains, particularly in Josh Brock's vocals. In fact, I consider this one of the album's weak points, not because I don't enjoy Layne Staley's singing, but because I'm constantly reminded of it throughout all 6 tracks. Few people want to hear a band trying so hard to sound like someone else, and I'm no exception. The music itself, performed by Kyle Toucher (guitar, vocals), Steve Vega (drums, vocals), and Josh Brock (bass, lead vocals), is grinding and groovy, much like the two aforementioned bands, but too often unmemorable. This is a fine demo, expertly packaged and very well produced, featuring some decent bottom-heavy riffs, but in my opinion, Stigmata needs an infusion of originality. AiC borrowed from pioneers and created their own style; Stigmata need to do the same.

(article published 18/4/1996)

6/7/1997 A Bromley 5 Stigmata - Hymns for an Unknown God
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