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HALLUX VALGUS - review
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HELLWITCH - interview
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VIRGIN STEELE - review
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JUST BEFORE DAWN - review
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RITUALS OF THE... - review
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DISCIPLES OF POWER - review
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PAGANIZER - review
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VANE - review
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RITUAL NECROMANCY - review
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MALTHUSIAN - review
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SODOM - review
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OBLITERATION - review
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RUIN - review
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BLOOD - review
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SICKNESS - review
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GUTWRENCH - review
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OUTRAGE - review
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ELLORSITH - review
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BURIAL INVOCATION - review
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KRYPTS - review
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DEIQUISITOR - review
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BARÚS - review
(November 09, 2018)

EMBRYO / STIGMATA
EMBRYO / STIGMATA
Damnatory Cacophony / Decieved Minds
(Dark Symphonies)
48:23min

When the first wave of Swedish Death Metal was in full swing in the early 1990s, there seemed to be a bazillion of bands from Sweden that might have been the next “big thing”. Well, we all know what happened to promising and damn good bands like EXCRUCIATE or SORCERY. And these two are just examples for bands, who at least made an album... There were bands who even didn't achieve this little goal, like those two I'm telling you about here: EMBRYO and STIGMATA. Both only released a demo tape in 1991 resp. 1992 as their only signs of life. Two years ago, the demos of them two from the neighbourhood of Stockholm were compiled for a limited, vinyl only split-release on The Crypt. But now they are available again, this time as a CD on the Crypt's parent label Dark Symphonies and with a few extra tracks as well. It all begins with EMBRYO and their “Damnatory Cacophony” demo from 1991. While listening to the three tracks here, I very soon recognized why EMBRYO haven't rose enough attention to release an album. It's not that the songs are bad or poor. It's just the fact that in 1991, there were a lot of damn fine bands that had a little more to offer. And nearly 25 years later, the three long and not too fast songs from EMBRYO might still sound pretty good, but not too original. But those who dig the absolute underground stuff will have some fun with 'Brutality Of Sickness', 'Grotesque Life' and 'Bible Of Hypocrisy' for sure. EMBRYO is also the band that provided the extra tracks here, with four songs recorded live in their home town Strängnäs in March 1993. Sadly, these recordings are very rough and therefore not for the weak. It's pretty hard to enjoy this stuff, but at least it features two unreleased songs with 'Lord Of The Dead' and 'Exmortis'. The latter sounds rather interesting and might have been a door opener for the band if it had been recorded properly. Finally, we have STIGMATA here with three song that made up their “Decieved Minds” demo in 1992. These songs sound more up to date nowadays, due to the production already. As a demo recording, 'Decieved Minds' (sic!), 'The Dead End Of Morality' and 'Overwhelming Grief' sound damn good and with more focus on the rhythm guitars in the mix, they would sound like a proper album recording of that era. But it's also the songs themselves that make STIGMATA the winners here. The more midtempo based title track or the very diversified 'The Dead End Of Morality' are worth to still raise some attention in 2015. The final slow motioned 'Overwhelming Grief' is pretty good as well, but it can't keep up exactly with the other two. But anyway, those three songs from STIGMATA are alone worth checking out this release at: www.darksymphonies.com

Thomas Meyer

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