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Stygma IV - Hell Within (10/10) - Austria - 2004

Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Label: s.a.d. music
Playing time: 64:05
Band homepage: Stygma IV


  1. Mental Power
  2. Point Of No Return
  3. The Last Stand
  4. Blackhole >mp3
  5. Hell Within
  6. March Of The Legions
  7. Legions Of The Damned
  8. Night’s Ascending
  9. Another World
  10. Shadowman
  11. Tears
  12. Days Of Doom
  13. Music
Stygma IV - Hell Within

STYGMA IV is a band that has gone through a true business hell. There was the unlucky choice of the name that they had to change from BIG HEAT to STIGMATA IV and then to STYGMA IV (in between they also were “just” STIGMATA once… - Alex). Then they were dropped by Noise and shortly after that signed by Rising Sun which soon went bankrupt…This album came out in late 2003 already on the French label NTS and it didn’t get any recognition…Thank god S. A. D. Music “had mercy” and distribute this uberhammer another time. That is as a limited numbered small special edition in a high-quality DigiPak with a number of copies of 3000.


What is there to say about the music of the Austrians. They are one of the very best Metal bands of this goddamn planet and their albums contain top material only. Those who enjoy the old SAVATAGE even just a bit just have to listen up here. The goose-skin voice of Richie Krenmaier alone has to be heard. Who is Jon Oliva anyway? In “Hell Within” the Austrians present their masterpiece. It’s basically Heavy Metal in its purest form, refined by all kinds of colour spots, be it keyboards or acoustic guitars. Nothing seems artificial or overladen. Everything is at the right place.


Added to this are 13 really great tracks, with not a single one being even slightly weak. The album almost bursts with brilliant riff attacks, life-blood, great melodies and passionate solos, simply unbelievable. Even when one or the other arrangement seems somewhat complex, a killer chorus comes from somewhere and makes it all even again. Even the cover version of the John Miles classic is a cracker. Even though the tune was said to be uncoverable so far, STYGMA IV turn it into a fat banger number without destroying the charm of the original. I could gush about every song for pages, but why? Get the damn album and you will understand…Of course the people thinking in categories will hardly move their ass here…


Heavy Metal? Certainly such an old-fashioned shit. You aren’t worth comprehending a band like STYGMA IV! Old-fashioned, nothing of the sort…STYGMA IV succeed magnificently in transporting traditional Metal ala IRON MAIDEN, SAVATAGE or JUDAS PRIEST into the modern times. At least production-wise and completely without choruses from nursery-rhymes! (Online January 7, 2005)

Ralf Henn

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