STOA "Silmand"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.95/1
STOA "Silmand"
  • Album: Silmand
  • Year: 2008
  • Label: ALICE IN…
  • Artist: 
  • Germany

Olaf Parusel is one of the most talented musicians of the Goth scene and his activity that started in 1991 constitutes a significant benchmark for a lot of bands, especially as the three albums released during approximately 17 years remain collectors items, for me, at least. If we are to take into account the fact that the previous STOA album was released 7 years ago, then we could say that the appearance of “Silmand” is indeed a true event! This time around Olaf presents to us a more colourful album, one that is oscillating between Classical Minimalist and Goth Pop, with differences between tracks, some of them with a more experimental sound rather than characteristic to STOA. Being also based on external collaborators like Louisa John Krol, Pieter Nooten (ex-CLAN OF XYMOX), Mark Hartung, Brett Taylor or Ralf Jehnert (LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH), the new compositions might confuse the listener who is accustomed with the impeccable Dark Orchestral note or with Mandy Bernhardt’s remarkable voice, the same vocals that have managed to create a fantastic universe on the previous album. Perhaps the most experimental but also different of them all, with commercial touches on some tracks, the new STOA is al album to retain, even if the sum of the influences does not represent the trump card I was anxiously expecting. The CD’s booklet is very elegant and refined, the lyrics are sang in different languages, something that gives the feeling of a “globalised” album, with a multicultural message. Special, intelligent but captivating only for a few seconds, there where STOA remains STOA, where alongside with Mandy’s operatic voice and Olaf’s grave and somber piano, Christina Fischer’s cello inspiringly intervenes… and what fantastic atmosphere you can find on “La Lune Blanche”, “Iter Devium”, “Hanuz Nist”… or on the instrumental “Sakrileg”, “Daar”, “Ways” or “Modesty”! The work with Louisa seems to be of good omen, just because her voice is absolutely superb and even if its dimension is not as dark as STOA’S sound, it expresses a wormer and perhaps more candid dimension of the glacial universe created by Olaf.