I sometimes feel a little bit weird about writing about metal from developing nations. While on the one hand there's a lot of really cool interesting stuff it often isn't super polished, but shows at all of the potential the band, and by extension the scene that they come from has. this is the case with Sri Lankan metallers Stigmata - a band who have some clearly very talented composers and whose new record The Ascetic Paradox speaks to the raw magic in their scene and starts to hint at what it can build up to be.
I think the biggest problem that The Ascetic Paradox faces is that it tries to be everything at once. You hear elements of Death in here as well as King Diamond. At other times strains of Iron Maiden shine through, but over top of riffs and sweeps that wouldn't sound out of place on a Revocation record. This diversity - while refreshing can also be more than a little frustrating. Stigamata are clearly some very talented dudes, I'm just really curious to see how they develop their sound over the next few years. this is a band who, once they lock down what they are really trying to do and find a sense of focus behind their sound could easily become one of the greats from their continent.
As is though - while definitely an interesting listen The Ascetic Paradox can have songs that feel to long and production mishaps that make triumphant moments fall flat. Yet, that's almost aside the point, and in fact in some ways it adds to the charm. What you have to understand is that The Ascetic Paradox is a triumph for heavy metal because it shows how far reaching the genre can be and how much it means to so many. Heavy metal isn't just a thing for depressed white kids anymore, it is a movement that this album proves will change the world.
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