#StygianFair Aradia

3 min read

Band: Stygian Fair
Title: Aradia
Label: Rockshots Records
Release date: 25 August 2023
Country: Sweden
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Oh well, Stygian Fair… this is a band “I have a thing with” from a long time ago. I remember joining Twitter in 2017 and I was looking for other Metalheads of course, but also cool bands in order to listen to new stuff. And then, I found Stygian Fair. Never heard from them before, didn’t know which country they were from… but they had just released their debut EP, “Into the Coven”, and it sounded so good that I just fell in love with them.

And a few years have passed… and “Aradia” is already their 4th full-length album, so it’s not that these guys have been sleeping that much! All I can say is that their sound is still alluring to me.

Because Stygian Fair play Heavy Metal/Hard Rock in a classic style, (very classic indeed), and at times their music has something really epic. For example, listening to “Masters of the Sea”, a song about vikings and their raids, and the chorus has a very special guitar playing, and the whole song has a strong epic point. This was the second song released from the album and left me with high expectations.

And, I’m really pleased with this. I love the fact that I can recognise their style and their songs because they have something special that they keep on adding to their classic style in each song they release. I mostly recognize the particular guitar harmonies, and also those epic hints I was talking about before. “Unto Oblivion” would be a representative song of what I’m trying to explain but as I’m short of words sometimes, well… listen and make your own conclusions.

It turns out that this is the first album by Stygian Fair with a “new” vocalist, and I say “new” because Andreas Stoltz was in the early years of the band as a vocalist and guitar player, but it was before the release of their debut EP. I liked the voice of Pontus Åkerlund, with a bit more cheerful and clear tone. But I think that Andreas’ voice has a deeper register, and great highs too when it’s required (like in “Tapping of the Vein”). And the choruses… I love them, the background vocals harmonize really well with the lead.

I only talked about the man doing vocals, let me introduce you the other members in the band: Emil Holmqvist at guitars, Per-Olov Jonsson at drums, and Anders Hedman at bass.

I can feel a lot of emotion coming out of this album; mainly because of the fantastic guitar work, and the vocals (Andreas brings some extra grip to the songs). But also, because of the omnipresent bass. And drums deliver exactly what you are expecting for a Hard Rock/Metal album, classic patterns and that mid-tempo beating all along the 41 minutes. A song that puts me in a particular mood is “Let it Go”, it’s almost melancholic, even sad. Like “Grief Collector”, this is another emotional piece.

Very solid album from an honest band that deserves more recognition. It’s a 9/10 for me Sílvia

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9/10 Epic Storm
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