The output of Swiss melodic black/death metallers Stortregn has always walked a fine line between the two sub-genres – with preceding albums showcasing as much of a love for Dissection as Dark Tranquillity – and yet there’s also been an ever-burgeoning singular identity to this unheralded act that has seen them notably improve from album to album.
With album number five, Impermanence, in the bag it has now become abundantly clear that this uber-talented bunch have mastered their technical craft, and are now in a position to supersede their peers with material that’s simply stunning in both construct and execution!
The wealth of ideas at Stortregn’s disposal – and the ability to convey them – will astonish with the band bouncing wantonly from icy black metal riffs to warm, acoustic interludes on a whim; all the while ramping up the technicality and embracing melodic death metal’s harmonic guitar lines.
The appropriately titled “Multilayered Chaos” sums Stortregn up perfectly. With its blistering tremolo riffs and black metal shrieks cosying up to an At The Gates-esque storm of solos and Scandianvian tropes – before they go all Opeth on our ass and settle into some dextrous acoustic work – this is the kind of track that has everything…..and perfectly showcases the evolutionary development in Stortregn’s style.
Still as heavy as a heavy thing – the brutish power of “Cosmos Eater” stands as testament to that – it’s the ever-present excursions into progressive metal territory that impresses the most; with Stortregn’s handle on dynamics proving irresistible.
Seamless transitions, surprising turns, stunning performances and sublime compositions mark Impermanence out as one of the most singularly convincing albums of 2021 to date. 9/10
Stortregn’s Impermanence was released on March 12th, 2021 via The Artisan Era.