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Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Stormhaven - Exodus

Coming together in 2010, the French progressive death metallers under the name Stormhaven took a series of routes to finalizing their final lineup with the group of friends eventually getting their complete form ready for the international stage. Following in the footsteps of their previous work, the groups’ full-length debut was self-released on May 19, 2017.

For the most part, the music displayed here manages to effectively straddle between each genre featured here as this comes together rather well. Best exemplified by the three-part title track, this here is really built around the strong and exceptionally complex guitar-work throughout here, never going into technical noodling but staying firmly in truly progressive realms. These hold this one up into far loftier and dignified realms than usual in that the riffing takes on the challenging rhythms and complex time-shifts associated with both realms but instead weaves both styles together into sections required technical thrashing alongside the more melodic interludes here given the dexterous keyboard work alongside the more dynamic patterns which create a startling effect. The full-on mixture of clean crooning and deep growls gives this one another angle to work on, especially on the epic closer “Eclipse” which manages to bring those elements together in quite a thrilling manner with the progressive tendencies and strong instrumentation coming together exceptionally well. This one does tend to fall in only one manner, though, where it’s nearly impossible to tell the tracks apart from each other. Since everything is these long, extended pieces about the continuous need to throw everything into the tracks and it just comes off really overlong and just more endless more than anything as the whole album comes across with way too many sections than what it really needs to tell the story here. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot really wrong here.

Without a whole lot of flaws here as the vast majority of the positives wholly overwhelm the few flaws to be found in the bloated writing, this one stands out rather nicely within the progressive death metal genre and is wholly recommended to fans of that genre or just technically-proficient death metal in general. 8.5/10

Written by Don Anelli

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