Stormlord - The Gorgon Cult
Scarlet Records
Melodic Death/Black Metal
10 songs (45:15)
Release year: 2004
Stormlord, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Jay

Italy’s Stormlord are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year. What a way to celebrate than by releasing yet another kickass album of metal tunes. Their latest effort is a good blend of melodic death passages with black metal screeches while maintaining a melodic sensibility. The opening track showcases this perfectly. From soaring keyboards to thrashy, slower, down tempo parts, this band can really master their sound and provide a punch behind the music they are playing. Shifting gears, they go into the next song "Wurdulak," which sounds like a Lacuna Coil track with death growls. Well, not exactly like Lacuna Coil because the drumming is spectacular and the keyboard work is much more intricate. If this is an example of the Italian dark metal sound, we need more!

The production on this disc is nothing short of great. It is one of those obsessive albums where you can be assured that each note sounds exactly like it is supposed to; each progressive smash of the ride cymbal is in perfect blend, each deep, brooding vocal penetrates just as it was designed to. While it is not the production masterpiece that an album like Death Cult Armageddon was, it certainly comes close. Their sound will be hard to beat in the upcoming months. Just as melodic as "Wurdulak" is, "Under the Boards (195, M.A.)," introduces us to the dark side of the band by blasting us to hell for nearly five minutes straight. It would be hard to classify this track as anything but unadulterated, old-fashioned death metal. A masterful work, eschewing all and any hints of metalcore, blast beats are put in their proper context by the purveyors of sinister dark Italian doom.

The title track sets out as a piano ballad but quickly descends into a sonic gem cleverly balancing brutality and neo-classical influence. Rhapsody should enlist some help from these guys if they ever want to do a black metal project as was rumored. Another great example of how this band learns is their cover of Maiden’s classic "Moonchild." The keyboard opening is somehow reminiscent of either 70’s prog stuff like the Alan Parsons Project or UFO or the introduction music played at professional sporting events but they make the song their own. I have heard many a death metal Maiden cover and this one certainly ranks among the best, managing to catch the spirit of Maiden in their spectacular riffage and delivery. While Bruce’s vocals are twisted, the resulting effect certainly works. This should have been the last track since there is still another song afterwards which sadly doesn’t hold up to the goodness this cover provides. While I’m all for some death metal, it just really cannot follow an Iron Maiden song.

Killing Songs :
Dance of Hecate, The Gorgon Cult, Wurdulak
Jay quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Stormlord that we have reviewed:
Stormlord - The Curse Of Medusa reviewed by Marc and quoted no quote
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