It’s the time again. The Austrian powerhouse STYGMA IV returns from the shadows with a new long player. Where could this band stand, if they had not been forced to remain an insider act with the many name changes (from BIG HEAT over STIGMATA, STIGMATA IV up to STYGMA IV).
The music definitely cannot be the problem, because that one still is over the top. And with “Hell Within” we have the best effort since the divine “The Court Of Eternity” (still released as STIGMATA IV). The music could hardly be described any better than with “Power Metal”. Sophisticated song structures with a lot of variety, but never letting them seem to be overloaded. Great melody lines far away from the bombast uniformity and still really convincing. The album also contains a certain dark mood, which we normally know from EVERGREY or also DEAD SOUL TRIBE.
Over the music we get the raspy, passionate voice of Ritchie Krenmaier, which gives the songs the last cut. Everybody, who likes demanding, yet never too fuddly Heavy Metal of the kind of old VICIOUS RUMORS, SANCTUARY, CAGE or also IRON MAIDEN at “Piece Of Mind“ times, should pay the deserved tribute to STYGMA IV and get “Hell Within”. A hammer awaits you. (Online April 23, 2004)