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Album Reviews : Stigmata – Psalms of Conscious Martydom

By on October 6, 2010

Beginning with a flatulent horn and a few dying vampires, Psalms of Conscious Martydom is fifty six painfully awkward minutes. Despite having three full length albums under their belt, Sri Lanka’s Stigmata still don’t seem to have found a real direction, instead throwing everything they love into a mixing pot and churning out some schizophrenic form of classic heavy metal.

Opener “SpiralComa” is comprised largely of sloppy riffs that fall somewhere in between thrash and melodeath, with clean vocals ranging from just bearable to cringe worthy, before losing control with a few utterly confusing riffs and vocal lines bringing the seven minute track to a close. The following few tracks focus largely on those out-of-place progressive elements with the result being the Elephant Man-esque lovechild of Metal Church and Dream Theater. The nine minute “Nothing” opens with a promising, tribal drum beat and growing vocals before an explosion of fret board wankery makes way for their weak attempt at death metal. “A Dead Rose Wails For Light” moves into power metal territory featuring a few decent guitar melodies, however Suresh’s attempt at Halford-like screams are no fight for the mighty ‘skip’ button.

While the lack of any truly memorable elements, interesting writing or engaging atmosphere makes the album fairly redundant to begin with, the main issue is that the songs simply don’t make sense. Completely different styles are thrown together with no segues, resulting in tracks that don’t develop or peak; they just wander, stumble, and fall. While already on the ground, they’re kicked and beaten by sloppy musicianship and a vocalist lacking control in all four hundred and twelve of his different, attempted styles.

With a severe deficiency of any redeeming features, Psalms of Conscious Martydom presents itself as a high school ‘battle of the bands’ album haphazardly recorded by a group of kids that have never even met. 2/10

Band: Stigmata
Album: Psalms of Conscious Martydom
Year: 2010
Genre: Heavy metal
Origin: Sri Lanka
Label: Maharaja Entertainments

Track listing:
1. SpiralComa
2. Purer (Libera Nos a Malo)
3. The Summoning Cry of Aries
4. Nothing
5. A Dead Rose Wails For Light
6. If Alpha Meets Omega
7. Od(d)ssey
8. March of the Saints


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.