It is not everyday you stumble over
a metal act from Ireland, actually only Steel Tormentor comes to
mind when I think of others. 'What Stirs Within' is the debut album
from Era Vulgaris and it was officially released in Ireland
early February 2007, and now they are ready to unleash this monster onto
the rest of Europe.
But sadly the monster turns out to
ugly and not much fun to listen to, which mostly has to do with 2
things; the sound on the album does not live up to the expectations
one should have for an official release. The guitar sound is thin,
the snare-drum sounds awful and the vocals sound bad. Going back to
the vocals, which is my second and biggest objective towards this
debut album; they are simply horrible and is what really holds this
album back the most.
Chris Rob's guttural screams might
be somewhat fitting for this kind of music and his clean voice is
OK, but generally I do not like them. The music could be tighter,
some of the breaks are sloppy and a bit off. Their style is a
doomish combination of progressive metal and 90's American thrash
metal where bands like Pantera, Megadeth and Down comes to mind. The
aggressive vocals draws parallels with Death and Control Denied,
without ever reaching the same standard.
Mostly I enjoy reviewing new and
unfamiliar stuff, but now and then I do get an album like this one,
where the intentions and ambitions clearly are there, but the result
simply doesn't live up to that. Get back in the rehearsing room, work on the
finer details and get a new vocalist is my suggestion if I might
hand out some kind of advice for them.
I am not impressed with this album
that sounds like a band, which in my book only compares to many
bands in their demo-stages... I for one hope they'll take the time
and energy to gain some experience, play their asses off live, and
write stronger songs before they'll even consider entering the
studios again... because the last song - the 11 minutes plus
instrumental "Imram" shows what kind potential this band holds.