Stam1na - SLK

11 songs
44:25 minutes
***** ****


Stam1na have been founded back in 1996, and I have only met them first eighteen years later. This is quite a shame, as the Finns have been playing quality metal for quite some time. SLK is the band’s sixth longplayer, but they have released furthermore EPs, singles and free download tracks. They are definitely anything but work shy!

It is quite hard to pinpoint Stam1na’s musical orientation. They do play metal, but you have to decide for yourself if you want to call it thrash, progressive or even avantgarde. The fact that the band has lyrics in its native Finnish language makes them that much more exotic for the large Indo-European market. Maybe it’s the language, but Stam1na’s vocalist’s voice reminds me of Elškelšiset’s Onni Varis. Both bands used to share a stage, which isn’t so abstruse, considering that both have a very idiosyncratic approach.

Rautasorkka is an ideal opener for a metal album. It’s a true kick start, with a modern approach. The vocals are fast and hectic, and only towards the end of the track there is a hint of slowing down. The following Kalmakansa has a similarly feisty outlook. This strange track is so unusual that it can’t possibly be compared to any other band. The album’s single Panzerfaust is different from the remaining material. The fun factor has been cut, instead the listener gets strong organs and lots of pathos that draws parallels to the black metal genre. The following tracks once again are more colourful, brimming with ideas, and that is a good thing too! Not unlike their fellow Finns Waltari, Stam1na have managed to concoct a very special, unusual and certainly not everyday sound where they put the emphasis on spirited temper and speed, making me believe that their live shows must really require a lot of energy. I won’t go into every song now, but advise you to listen to the album from the beginning to end, and you will certainly discover many curiosities along the ride.

Don’t let yourselves be deterred by the atrocious cover artwork. Stam1ina are right now one of the hottest metal bands around. SLK may not be the longest album, but the three quarters of an hour have all it takes to make every metal party a hit. At home this is no longer a secret, as their last couple of album all have been awarded gold records.

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