Stained Blood – Nyctosphere
Label: Blood Fire Death
You do get some ideas when you realize there are six songs on an album, averaging at over 7 minutes per track. Then again, the cover artwork tells you something completely different. And then you run into the description presented on the Metal archives. Bloody hell, is it so difficult to nail a particular band to a specific genre? Sometimes sure, but certainly not in this case.
However, the truth might be out there, somewhere in the middle and still slightly off. What am I rambling about?
The Spanish quintet hidden under the Stained Blood moniker is well over a decade old and “Nyctosphere” is their third full length record. While my initial prediction was laid upon some Doom Metal origins, there is hardly anything of that sort on the album. Well, apart of the introductions to each song that bear some slow and dissonant connotations, the mainframe is far from anything remotely as emotional and sad, as Doom Metal needs to be. The Spaniards dwell somewhere on the borderline between Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal, where the lead roles are equally split between them to create a mixture which carries enough brutality and aggression, while maintaining a level of atmospheric input. The majority of their creations are led by guitar patterns, while the rhythm section is mostly used as a backbone to stiffen up what’s left dangling around. Well, truth be told, both bass and drums are left with enough room to experiment and they both use it to their own and the songs’ advantage. Bass guitar even gets some moments in the spotlight. Vocals are a piece of the puzzle where Stained Blood left some more space for development of the emotional side of their music. While being harsh and strong at the same time, they offer a variety of intonations complemented most often by some more atmospheric lead guitars.
Now, as all of the previously stated might sound like “Nyctosphere” is a flawless record, it is not. The problem (and it might be the only problem here) is the sheer length of the tracks. It is my opinion that Stained Blood did not deliver enough ideas to take on such long songs. Certainly not very good ideas. They have proven creative capacity to form memorable parts, but these do not have the capability of lasting for over seven minutes without becoming tedious and, on the other hand, mixing too many different segments is not the strong side of the Spaniards skills. Even if the arrangements are quite good. I would certainly find this release much more appealing if it was cut down to an EP and the songs kept around 4 or 5 minutes long.
Still, with all that said, “Nyctosphere” is an above average record, with many things to look for. Experience which they have attained over the course of years is noticeable and it seems to me like they just need to sand off the rough edges and we will have another world class band upon our hands.
Enough for a recommendation? I think so!