Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Friday, September 20, 2013
Review Type: 

Italy’s Stormlord do exist for more than two decades in mean time, and besides a memorable collection of recordings, the band played live all over Mater Terra, along with bands like Carcass, Testament, Opeth, Ancient, Motörhead and many, really many others. The band’s last release was done in 2008 (Mare Nostrum, via Locomotive Records), and now it’s time for studio full length number five (there are a couple of minis, as well as a live and a compilation album).

This fifth full recording was recorded at Rome’s Outer Sound Studio with producer and Novembre-frontman Giuseppe Orlando, who worked as producer / engineer with several well-known (mainly Italian) acts like Crest Of Darkness, Hour Of Penance, Ensoph, The Foreshadowing, VII Arcano or Necrodeath before. The mastering, by the way, was done by Mika Jussila at the Finnish Finnvox Studio (think: Viscera///, The Foreshadowing, Forgotten Tomb, Mechanical God Creation etc., to remain in Italian spheres).

Hesperia is Stormlord’s first totally conceptually written effort. The lyrics are based on the very old Aeneas or Aeneid poem, written before at the legendary Year Zero from our era by Virgilius. The main parts are sung in English and Italian, with some Latin excerpts as well.

The sextet (Gianpaolo Caprino, Cristiano Borchi, Riccardo Studer, David Folchitto, Andrea Angelini and Francesco Bucci) do what they always did with this forty five-minute eight-tracker. Hesperia stands for melodic and orchestral Black-oriented Symphonic Metal with elements from Gothic, Dark and Death Metal. I know, this is a very ‘wide’ description, but this Italian act did create an own sound throughout the years, which over-covers different genres. It has to do as well with the variation. The tempo, for example, balances in between pounding slow to lightning fast, with everything in between, the rhythms vary from technical to straight-forward, and you might go on. What about the addition of operatic and neo-classical parts (e.g. angelic female voices and choirs), sympho-classical orchestration, tribal sounds, progressive moments versus traditional riffing, brutal parts in interaction with atmospheric excerpts, etc.?...

Because of the many years of experience, these guys are able to create very professional and timeless catchiness that will draw the attention of the old fans, and it will attract new followers too for sure. Hesperia can be considered the highlight in the band’s career because of this craftsmanship. Personally, however, I think this stuff is somewhat too catchy, too clean. This band never was the Italian answer on the Underground scene for they have always created more accessible stuff, but they are aiming for a bigger audience, and they will succeed with this release. So, if you’re into the harsher side of (Black) Metal, you better skip this material, but even I have to admit that this album is a nice product / production.