Stiny Plamenu - Odpadni Galerie
Black Metal
10 songs (1:01:24)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

I think it was StevelovesMoonspell who started a thread in the Extreme Metal section of the forum about Black Metal with unconventional lyrical themes. All types of intriguing acts came out of the woodwork of the forumites collections and were mentioned therein. One such band was Stiny Plamenu, a Czech band whose lyrics and sound largely reminisce of the life and sound of the sewers.

Yes, that’s right. This band loves singing all about sewers. Judging by the horrible Google translation which left me thoroughly confused as to what they were trying to say, Stiny Plamenu have actually created a mythos surrounding the concept of their sewer based themes. Much like Gwar use outer space and Antarctica as a platform for their lyrics, the sewers are the kingdom surrounding the music of Stiny Plamenu.

Of course, singing about a hidden sewer kingdom in Czech is not exactly the most conventional theme to surround your music with, but it works for them, and I could care less what they sing about, as long as the music is good. Stiny Plamenu is translated to “Shadows of Flames” in their native Czech.

Out of several distinct bastions of Slavic Extreme Metal, that being Ukraine, some of Russia, and Poland, the Czech’s are behind. This does not mean that in small volumes oft times solid works are produced in the forum of the tyrannical Maniac Butcher or the eccentricities of !T.O.O.H.!

Sit Mezimestskych Stok begins with a menacing strings track laid over what seems like the sounds of plodding around a sewer. After that the guitars come in and to be honest the riff sounds kind of immature. By that I mean it sounds like something a high school band would write. The blast beats and the speeding up of said riff erase this doubt in their riff construction abilities. If there is something definitive to Stiny Plamenu’s sound it is that their reverb laden snare drum and echo heavy guitars make for a sound that appears as if it was actually playing in a sewer. That, is cool. I have no idea whether it was intentional or not, but the hollow effect adds to the atmosphere created by Stiny Plamenu and their lyrical escapades. The riffs do not really do it for me on the first few tracks, despite good sound quality and skilled Czech lyrics. Pad is the first song of several to introduce operatic female vocals. They actually distract from the stale riffs and provide a decent fallback option if the steadily picked tremolo riffs meander on too long for you. The lyrics sound very fitting in Czech. I believe this is a good language for Black Metal because it bears a strong vile tone when sung in the vocal styling of the genre but is not necessarily clunky at high speeds like Germanic linguistics. Dolu Za Zuardla is another slower piece to follow Pad. On here the lyrics from the female grow somewhat dragging as I truly feel a strength of this band is their male vocalist. The fourth track is the brooding and stronger Neihlubsi Patro. The lead work is more focused here. The riffs have more depth, and for once I see a killing song on Odpadni Galerie. The riffs here are also darker and more fearsome, especially during the blast beats, where the sped up lyricism adds a frantic notion to the song. The leads here sound more like Black Metal and less like child’s play, following an arpeggio pattern nicely. Here is where the album takes shape. If not for Neihlubsi Patro this album may have lost about 10 additional points.

As far as the final mix is concerned, whilst still a highlight, the primarily treble oriented harsh vocals overwhelm the guitars, which especially hurts the effort when they are actually hitting their strength. Without going any further, the albums continues along in the same vein, with mid paced salvos following lengthy bursts of blast beats, solid vox complimented by melodic clean female vocals, a nearly inaudible bass, and capable but not spectacular drumming. Overall I think Stiny Plamenu need to work on their song structuring and riff building. Although, as the album wears on, it does get better. This is both present over blasts and under mid paced veils. This band has a lot of potential. They have the talent, they just need to take their songwriting a step further. Nothing more to be said, nothing less. Stiny Plamenu can be a power player on the Slavic scene (at least outside of the mighty Ukraine) if they work on sustaining the riffs they plied for the latter parts of the album for the entirety of a release. It was a long album that had its moments, but was unable to continue in the vein of their best tracks.

Killing Songs :
Neihlubsi Patro, Po Pulnoci, Prichod Rady Lindleye
Tony quoted 72 / 100
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