Stilla – Till Stilla Falla

stillaWith members of Deranged, Armagedda, and De Arma in tow, the Swedish Stilla arise from the frosty northern woodlands sans demo, yet present a striking form of blackness that sounds like it has been cultivated for a decade.

Till Stilla Falla flows through its 6 tracks with clever bass lines acting as a distortionless anchor (imagine a more adventurous/active Joy Division feel), for the melodious dissonance of the riffs and their Norwegian styled presence to unveil a pleasing aura. Having the bass peeking through with such prominence is a nice touch as I feel this instrument always offers so much dimension when used properly, yet is so often buried in a mix. It opens up the sound field with powerful bass lines for the guitars to layer on the twisted/tense intricacies one moment, only to ease off the intensity so that smart and unique melodies can further unlock mental images of staring out over a snow blanketed landscape as on the track Allt är Åter… vast and very humbling. The vocals reach out from the harmonious and bleak layers with expected harsh and throaty screams, along with occasional pitch singing to enchant the metal side of Stilla with a touch of a Swedish folk characteristic. All of these elements have been exercised in the black metal world before, but Stilla have tapped into a vein of dark enchantment that puts me in mind of Ulver Arcturus’ early and superior years. Stilla take it a step further with airy and empowering synth and acoustic guitar lines that reinforce the call of the north to awaken in you a lost black metal spirit that once connected so deeply with the mystical side of this genre before it shifted into death metal complexities, gothic marketing schemes, or nearly impregnable black brutality.

Till Stilla Falla is an expertly composed album that strikes me as being far more passionate and alive than the bands where it’s members arrived from. Stilla’s music leaves mindless power chords and grim posturing far behind, as seriously moving and complex layers of sound congeal in a patchwork of sonic colors that can only be created with this much care and intricacy by artists who feel and live every note. Stilla have mastered the ancient black metal arts on their debut with sophistication and an undeniable desire for this movement to rise and reclaim its rightful place upon the northern throne. This is right up my alley and a style that I have been missing for some time. -Marty



~ by martyworm on April 24, 2013.

3 Responses to “Stilla – Till Stilla Falla”

  1. Damn, this sounds great. Have to check it out…

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with this review. A cracking good album, and further evidence of the variety, talent and creativity within this thing we call ‘black metal’. The new EP by Grift, also on Nordvis, is well worth checking out as well.

  3. I have that new Grift release in cue as well. Been utterly possessed by the new Summoning so much that I haven’t found the time to work anything else into the rotation.

    Thanks for reading!

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