Motherstone - Through The Paths Of Insanity (EP)
Melodic Nu-Deathrock
4 songs (16:22)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Ken
Surprise of the month

The all-female group Drain STH were a short-lived band that managed to release an EP and two well-received albums, Horror Wrestling and Freaks Of Nature, before breaking up shortly after their second full-length release. The image of the band may have reminded us of an updated (and sexier) version of the 80’s rock group Vixen, their catchy hooks may have reinforced it slightly, but their mix of hard rock, traditional metal, and a more modern style of metal told a different story. If you take that recipe, add a male vocalist with a melodic death metal growl/black metal rasp and crank up the traditional metal a few notches while not abandoning all of the modern metal leanings, you might find yourself face to face with Italy’s Motherstone.

Through The Paths Of Insanity is the band’s first official release after 2005’s Just A Little Dose… promotional EP. My reference to Drain STH are based mainly on female vocalist Eliana Volpe’s strong vocals and melodies which snake through each song like a slow moving stream, sounding very much like Drain STH's Maria Sjoholm. Giorgio Mammoliti handles the male vocals in that Dark Tranquillity manner, but manages to add a tortured black metal wail here and there to accentuate certain areas of the songs. Musically the band wanders through numerous styles including thrash, traditional metal, death metal, nu-metal and even some more groovy stuff like the song “The Unsaid Words,” which sounds like Biohazard's “Punishment” from Urban Discipline meets—swallow your puke, do not be alarmed!Kittie with a penchant for thrashy death metal. The album begins strong with the title cut, a groove-laden heavy metal number that exploits their thrash, rock, metal and melodic death metal abilities with great success. This formula is repeated over the course of the four track EP, each song offering varying degrees of metal and rock with some great melodies and catchy choruses.

The production on the demo does have that “demo quality,” but it is quite good for what it is. The album has a nice variety of sounds, and some cool dynamic shifts, but I would like to have heard some solos, as there are none. The contrasting vocals work very well, they weave in and out of each other seemlessly. The female vocals of Eliana are a solid mid-range throughout most of the EP, and though she does kick them up an octave or two here and there, she’s never over-the-top with it and Giorgio’s death metal growls are very smooth and crisp in their abrasiveness. A solid vocal performance by both. The musicianship here is topnotch, the backbone of the band is as solid as they come. The only shortcomings of the band, for me, is the lack of solo work. I think some soloing would have added more texture to the songs and taken away from the monotony of an over-repeated mid-section. All in all, this is quite a debut. There is a solid mix of styles to keep each song interesting; it’s not overly mind-blowing or original, it’s just a very good, solid slab of music.

MP3: Through The Paths Of Insanity, The Unsaid Words and Invisible Tears

VIDEO: Five Days With Motherstone (Studio Footage)

Note: These cannot be hotlinked, copy and paste the URL into your media player, or visit the band's website to hear these tracks. In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Through The Paths Of Insanity and Invisible Tears
Ken quoted 80 / 100
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