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Stangala : Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All

Stangala's debut meanders in a lot of different directions all at once, and sometimes simply loses focus.

Al Lidou Esoterik An Dolmen Hud; Kalon An Noz; Deus Bars An Tan; Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All…

No, I'm not mad, neither am I experiencing a sudden attack of writing xenoglossy. And no, those words you read right above aren't in Kobaian, Magma's famous language. Stangala are hailing from a small part of France named Brittany, a land of rich folklore and innumerable legends (this is where the real Broceliande Forest is located). And, like many Scandinavian bands, Stangala are proud of their cultural heritage and therefore sing in Briton. That idea is not a simple easy gimmick: the music also involves traditional instruments from north-eastern France (like bombard or biniou), and this in the end helps shaping a rather special form of Stoner Doom.

When it comes to Doom Metal, the influences of Stangala are obvious: Acrimony being the first, then Sleep. And of course, a huge dose of Black Sabbath and Pentagram on top of that. People expecting some massive slab of psychedelic revelry could be disappointed, as this is not the kind of acid orgy reminiscent of Electric Wizard that you'll get here. Stangala sometimes cross the borders to wander into the realm of the Dorset sorcerers (like on the very cool semi-instrumental 'Deus Bars An Tan'), but most of the times you'll get some classic Doom Rock with a twist (the instrumental 'Langoliers' sounds exactly like a song from Abdullah, albeit with some riffs stolen from Dissection or early Darkthrone).

It sounds a bit like a recorded live performance, with all sorts of hazardous improvisations. The band shows a lot of ideas (the Red Hot Chili Peppers- like intro to 'Bigoudened An Diaoul', the Pentagram-worship of 'Doom Rock Glazik', the Acrimony vibe of 'Al Lidou Esoterik An Dolmen Hud', the Jazz Rock break in 'Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All'), but never really seems to know EXACTLY what they want to do. A bit like a gathering of stoned and drunk druids trying to find their way out of the woods after a wild party around a menhir. For such is the character of Stangala that most of the songs have a kind of funny, joyful feeling to them.

So, no sad and tormented Doom here. To some, it would be an heresy. But, as a big Acrimony fan, I don't find it to be that much of a problem myself. All in all, this is an album that has as many good moments as lesser ones. They have everything needed to record something truly original and great, if only they would work harder on their songwriting and keep the improvisations and instrumentals for the stage. For a first album, 'Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All' makes me want to hear more from Stangala, and despite its flaws, it shows some great promise.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Doom Rock Glazik 2. Al Lidou Esoterik An Dolmen Hud 3. Kalon An Noz 4. Sorcerezed 5. Deus Bars An Tan 6. Langoliers 7. Bigoudened An Diaoul 8. Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All 9. Izel Eo An Dour

Duration : Approx. 6 minutes

Visit the Stangala bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-18 by Laurent Lignon
Aesthetic Death
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