CD Reviews > Stigma

Stigma - Concerto For The Undead
Pivotal Rockordings

(Insert the signature Cryptkeeper laugh here, then try to imagine the following in the Crowgrrl’s best imitation of the Cryptkeeper’s voice….) Welcome, Kiddies! Stigma are inviting us to descend with them into dusty, cobweb laden sepulchers to find a hidden underworld of frightful fun. You’re guaranteed to have a fangtastic time, banging your heads until the first rays of dawn frighten vampires back into their coffins.

The band’s sophomore release, Concerto For The Undead, (Pivotal Rockordings) not only has Tales From The Crypt running through it, it also has comic book art (by Andreas Berton of Corefolio Designs) for each track instead of lyrics in the album’s booklet. This Extreme Metal Horrorfest features anthemic vocals and choruses, a contagion of great guitar riffs and solos, blast-beat drums and thunderous bass. Awesome album! It also features guest vocals by Jamie Hope (ex- The Red Shore) and Jon Hunt (ex- Dead To Fall ).

Hailing from Italy, Stigma are: frontman Stefano “Vlad” Ghersi, guitarist Andrea Beilo, bassist Flavio Magnaldi, and drummer Stefano Ghigliano. Concerto For The Undead was recorded at Fear Studio. It was produced by Bring Me The Horizon guitarist Jona Weinhofen, and mixed and remastered by Scott Atkins ( Cradle of Filth, Sylosis).

Maniacal laughter ushers us into this bloodfest in "Chop His Head Off", but just like Sleepy Hollow’s horseman, you can’t keep this guy down. Pure testosterone is unleashed in "Prove You Are A Man" – a dangerous dare to go into a haunted house. The guitars are truly impressive in the intense "…And They Died Happily Ever After" – a love that endures beyond the grave.

The Crowgrrl also loves the riffs in the out-of-control rampage in "A Monstrous Feeling". "The Undertaker" is another musically impressive track – incendiary! There’s no Amusement Park safety codes in place as "What About A Terror Ride" sends us hurtling into fear.

An ancient Pharaoh emerges from his sarcophagus to embark on a new reign of terror in "3000 Years And Still Keeping It Real". "A Grave Situation" explores Poe’s greatest fear: awakening inside a closed coffin! The Lycanthropes do more than just howl at the moon in the rollicking "Beat Me Maestro Eight To The Dead". And the title’s very appropriate in the last track – no apple a day is gonna keep "Doctor Skeleton" away! Fun album!

~Athena Schaffer