Review 2232 : Stormcrow – Path To Ascension – English

Stormcrow’s shadow hangs over us.

Since its formation in 1997, the Italian band has released two albums and an EP. 2024 sounds like the year of resurrection for Vastis (vocals), Tohrus (guitar), Astaroth (guitar), Zedar (bass, Koza Noztra) and Wraith (drums, XXII Arcana), who announce the release of their third album Path To Ascension on Time to Kill Records.

The adventure begins with the sound of Astral Deconstruction‘s foghorns, a mysterious introduction where percussion and vocals appear under a torrential downpour, leading to Dark Existence’s pure Black Metal, completed by a few dark orchestrations. Old School sounds mingle with towering keyboards and unhealthy screams to create a tornado of darkness that continues with Vulgus Vult Decipi, adopting cold melodies that go hand in hand with the savage blast. The result is very catchy, combining two aspects that are as opposed as complementary before giving way to Detached where the sound becomes slightly heavier and dissonant, incorporating a more gloomy and troubled approach while retaining those frightening screams. Ascension returns to a fast-paced rhythm, but some passages are overtly more playful, using light aerial influences to nuance the raw basis before the band grants us an instrumental moment with its melodious Vertical Horizon interlude, which stays within a fairly melodic approach. Violence soon resurfaces with In This Solitude and its assumed ferocity, which nonetheless tends towards a rather melancholic mood at times when the harmonics intermingle, before the sound becomes resolutely more soaring with Petit Dru, the next composition. The introduction is one of the quietest on the album, and lends its atmosphere to the whole track despite the livelier rhythm and ferocious vocal parts, but the album is already drawing to a close with Ancient Forest, the longest track, which also offers us a mix of heady melodies and solid riffs haunted by tortured vocals.

Path To Ascension was my first contact with Stormcrow, and I discovered a universe halfway between Old School Black Metal and colder but heady melodies with the Italians. I’m sure I’ll be back for this album, which made me want to explore the previous ones.


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