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Stortregn - Impermanence review

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Band: Stortregn
Album: Impermanence
Release date: March 2021

01. Ghosts Of The Past
02. Moon, Sun, Stars
03. Cosmos Eater
04. Impermanence
05. Grand Nexion Abyss
06. Multilayered Chaos
07. Timeless Splendor
08. Nénie

Technical death metal isn't the easiest style to write memorable songs in; however, adding a bit of meloblack and folk metal to the equation works wonders for Stortregn.

Switzerland's Stortregn have been around for quite a while, but Impermanence is the first record of theirs to pop up on my radar. Despite a brief dalliance with the sub-genre whilst I was first discovering more extreme styles of metal, tech-death hasn't been the most rewarding area of metal for me personally; the jawdropping technicality makes an immediate impact, but it can be challenging to write memorable hooks within all that technicality, and without that, the virtuosity on the surface can only hold the listener's attention for so long. Stortregn make a promising first impression on Impermance with the epic folk guitar melody that opens "Ghosts Of The Past"; you'd expect this stirring introduction to be followed by Viking group vocals, not a blistering percussive assault, but Stortregn do an excellent job of balancing the melodic inclinations of this song with their more extreme and progressive tendencies, ensuring that "Ghosts Of The Past" lands an emphatic first blow on listeners.

"Ghosts Of The Past" is a bit of an odd one out on Impermanence in how heavily it features these melodies that are more commonly associated with folk/Viking metal; the focus of the album shifts closer to Obscura territory after this song. However, whilst the likes of "Moon, Sun, Stars" and "Grand Nexion Abyss" are more frenetic, technical and chaotic in their approach, Stortregn still retain a good degree of melody in their sound, not constantly, but regularly enough to avoid the instrumentation losing its charm. This is partly accomplished through the intelligent lead guitar work, and partly by incorporating some meloblack within the riffing; it's notable that the song that strays furthest into standard tech-death, "Cosmos Eater", is for the most part one of the least interesting tracks here, although the softer proggy break in the last couple of minutes goes a long way to making up for that.

This proggy end to "Cosmos Eater" is one of only a few moments of downtime on Impermanence; even the brief title track is another extreme attack rather than an acoustic interlude. Still, whilst Stortregn may not feel much inclination to completely pull back, there are degrees of intensity within their sound, such as the transition within "Grand Nexion Abyss" to an acoustic guitar-accompanied meloblack-heavy segment; the use of acoustic guitars is another enjoyable element that pops with an pleasantly high frequency during the album, and one that does occasionally get a chance to go it alone, such as later on in "Multilayered Chaos".

I mentioned earlier that "Ghosts Of The Past" was the song that most strongly featured the folkier melodies, and I find that to be a slight shame, as for me it's the best song on the album due to how well Stortregn incorporate them. Perhaps the song that goes closest is final track "Nénie", which surprisingly had me thinking of Wintersun on a few occasions; however, it's still an element of Impermanence that I would be intrigued to see taken further on future records by Stortregn. Nevertheless, Impermanence is the most enjoyable tech-death-based record I've heard in quite a while, and I'll be making sure to keep a closer eye on Stortregn in the future.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 30.03.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 11   Visited by: 130 users
30.03.2021 - 15:59
Rating: 8
There's enough unique going on here to separate this from the usual tech death bands.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
30.03.2021 - 22:32
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Reading inro part, reminds me a bit German band Suidakra.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
31.03.2021 - 00:31
Rating: 8

My verdict exactly, good review.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z:
31.03.2021 - 01:17
i c deaf people
An impudent thief stole the words "Impermanence is the most enjoyable tech-death-based record I've heard in quite a while" right out of my mouth.
Seriously, that is also a very apt description of my impression. Impermanence is so far the only technical album of 2021 I've really been looking forward to and it's not even necessarily their best effort. I've spinned the predecessor Emptiness Fills The Void countless of times and I'm still digging it...

What I always wanted to say: thanks to Grouch Douglas for recommending Stortregn. Never even heard of these guys before stumbling across his ShoutBox mention a couple of months ago.
signatures = SPAM
31.03.2021 - 02:00

Surprised to see this band called technical death metal. last time I checked they were playing fairly regular, albeit enjoyable melodic black/death in the vein of Dissection.

guess I have to check this new development
31.03.2021 - 09:33
Rating: 6

I don't get the folk metal obsession on this site .... maybe because I didn't listen to much
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
03.04.2021 - 12:27

Just listened to this, and I agree, an amazing sound/style, maybe one of the few re-listen worthy albums of late.
Thanks for the recommendation!
03.04.2021 - 12:28

Written by Mehrad on 31.03.2021 at 09:33

I don't get the folk metal obsession on this site .... maybe because I didn't listen to much

It's really not that folk, I'd say it has a "flavour" in the melodies, but mostly it's great melodeath.
Give it a try
07.06.2021 - 22:35
Rating: 9

I like how it's distinct from other tech death bands, because of the melodic approach taken by the band. For me the favourite track will have to be multilayered chaos, it's got such a great Vektor feel.
Leeches everywhere.
14.06.2021 - 01:19
Rating: 8
Troy Killjoy
You always write informative in-depth reviews (where you find the time, I'll never know) but this one stands out to me due to its succinct accuracy. You don't spend too much time serving as a hype-man even though you can clearly tell through the course of your analysis that you enjoyed this album immensely (one that is also new to me, and so I look forward to investigating their back catalog), and the reader can also discern some of the drawbacks despite your language being mostly positive. Those folk-themed motifs in the riffs carry the pinpoint technicality as you mentioned in a way that feels distinctive, and that's really what I gravitate towards most these days when it comes to metal.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
14.06.2021 - 10:21
Rating: 8

Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.06.2021 at 01:19

You always write informative in-depth reviews (where you find the time, I'll never know) but this one stands out to me due to its succinct accuracy.

Cheers for the glowing feedback, interesting to hear this one stood out but pleased to hear it too. Ghosts In The Past has played a very important role in keeping me interested in this album, but I do enjoy the contents of it after that song finishes.

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