Title: Asylum’s Lament
Label: Void Wanderer Productions / War Productions
Release Date: 25 January 2024
Country: Netherlands / Belgium
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Stuporous combines doom, black metal, blackened crust, raw and experimental metal styles in this album and does it in such a way that it reverberates in your ears and your mind with addictive passages in vocal treatments and instruments that must be heard more than once. You are captivated by the creativity of the music and the trip you are on as you listen to this takes you to that chaotic, fearful, lonely, angry, and violent conditions/expressions that could exist in a person as they try to navigate their existence within an asylum. The trio who are Izzy, Floris and Devi, attack this theme, taking in all nuances of this experience and bringing it out in the music.
Mental health, which has been on the forefront of many discussions today, is the theme of this album, with lyrics that explore this, and again, the way Stuporous does this, yes, its addictive, expansive, taking the mood changes and somewhat unstable approach to the way these songs are meant to be heard. You enter the asylum when you start to listen to these 7 tracks. With that, I’ll say a few words about each song.
Somber piano notes, slow, and melancholic to start, with that edge that alludes to an altered reality. This song has tangents of orchestral sound, with the style of drums switching between the piano notes. The conclusion is someone walking, the echo of their footsteps going farther and farther away.
“Throne of Madness”
Now, that vocal comes out of the shadows at the start of this- grim, and raspy and full of twisted intent. The singing appears to be switch up of death metal stylings, cleans singing and just full-on twisted expression. Maniacal laughter, mood building to some cliff or abyss of sound with the fall into a nefarious region of your mind, where there is no escape from what keeps you there. I’d call this portion of the track haunted harmonies, dark and all encompassing. This concludes with stark keyboard notes to echo out.
Weighted doom droning sound to start this. More of the themed, losing sanity feel driven vocals, guitars plodding on, with harmonies sounding like something from a nightmare. The nature of the word “desperation” comes through in how this song has been put together.
“Decorating the Willow Tree”
Doom and more doom to begin, guitars are grinding it out in all its apathetic glory, Slowly, this song shifts into the black metal speed guitars and frenetic drums, smashing all those sad walls down, following these with those speed drums pounding down, a more uplifted tone is introduced, and that changes into beautiful trumpet sounds. Just outstanding mixing of all these genres and instruments and how well they play together.
“Never Let Me Go”
First off, the title is a lament on its own. When dark times surround, you ask to never be let go and it’s a nod to the theme of this album. The singing, sounds to me of weeping, and anger together. The music again is a counterpoint of expression, with an experimental sound introduced. A chant comes in, with the refrain “Everybody’s dead, everybody’s dead”.
A real departure from the last 3 tracks, the sound is calming and places your mind in a place of quiet contemplation. The vocal is ethereal sounding until it grabs some grit from the grungy guitars and drums. The scream vocal blends into the clean singing as almost a two-voice expression, one on top of the other. Song is dark, but also uplifting. Clean vocals reach for the skies and the growling vocal keeps the clouds from being unreachable. Distorted sound to follow, off-kilter and sounding maniacal in delivery, wow, the vocal range in this track travels.
“The Voice That Made Me Do it”
“What have I done…” is the start of the vocal, “All that was precious to me”. more of the lyrics, asking the internal questions, and expressing inner dialogue.
“The anger consumes my every breath”. more lyrics, and all is so pain-filled and angry. Then the song shifts into a black metal rage and rant, in furious guitar tremolos and drums.
This track carries so much expression in instruments and vocals. Very deep and introspective phrasing.
Stuporous turnover all expression with regard to the experiences of being in an asylum. Their instruments and vocals range, and hold you there in that atmosphere of anxiety and wondering what reality you are living. Very well done. I recommend this album (this band’s first album), to anyone who wants to hear something different and yet so cohesive. It’s definitely a play again and again to gain more of the nuances of sound portrayed here. I give this 8/10 Metal Marie
8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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