A premiere! For the first time in the band-history the Austrian quartet of STYGMA IV has managed to release 2 CDs under the SAME name! After BIG HEAT, STIGMATA and STIGMATA IV they finally have found a home with STYGMA IV!
Since shortly after their foundation (which means ever since finding a vocalist) this four-piece is together with the same line-up, which in itself is something very remarkable, and for along time now is one of the few representatives of Progressive Power Metal in Austria and, I really want to add that, are at least Europe-wide one of the absolutely best bands of this style!
"The Human Twilight Zone" again comes over with a tremendous playing time, amongst it the 16-minute-monstrum "Sleep", and offers an equally wide spectrum, which is truly impressive. You get groovy passages, damn heavy Power Metal (no, no Happy Metal) as well as a few almost psychedelic sounding elements up to quite progressive parts, but without losing the red line or losing the song in a more or less loose combination of different parts.
"Calculation Towers" sets off in the typical manner of STYGMA IV-openers, straight, heavy, just as it should be! But as we already are used to from the Austrians, this is by far not everything that we will get, so they use all the already mentioned stylistic elements and passages, which in combination with Ritchie Krenmaier's absolutely original and strong vocals make the typical STYGMA IV-sound. The straighter side is represented by "Calculation Towers", "Stygmatized" and "My Failure Reveals", while "The Void" and also " At The End Of My Daze " bring us the groovy facet of their sound, while "Why" is a rather atypical ballad. Heart-piece of the album undoubtedly is the 16+ minute "Sleep", which unites the most diverse of moods and atmosphere, in a powerful and varied Progressive Metal-opus, which really demands respect!
For sure STYGMA IV do not play music for everyone, they're too demanding for this, but still they are accessible enough that "normal Metalheads" can find their way into their sound, for sure they are original! Even though I guess that I'll step on a few people's toes, I think that STYGMA IV is the best band that Austria has to offer right now!