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Stagwounder > The Shrouded Muse of the World's Lament > 2021, CD, Crawling Chaos (Limited edition) > Reviews
Stagwounder - The Shrouded Muse of the World's Lament

Stagwounder - The Shrouded Muse of the World's Lament - 94%

Edmund Sackbauer, December 14th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Crawling Chaos (Limited edition)

Whenever The Crawling Chaos announce a new release chances are that it will be something special. Holger and his crew have a certain vision about the music they want to present on their label, but also how the final product should be presented in its entirety. Each of the albums sounds different, but one thing they all have in common is the darkness the pour into our world and the feeling of listening to something with more layers to it than your average extreme metal record. The latest addition to their roster are Stagwounder, another band I have never heard of before. “The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament” is the title of their second full length and if you take a look at the song titles and the art work it becomes obvious that we are talking about another release out of the ordinary.

The album we are talking about is an outstanding one that doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but presents a compelling package of superbly written and proficiently performed black and doom metal .The entire record is one magmatic flow and should be consumed in one setting if possible. The single pieces are relentless, making connections and breaking them whilst hammering away at these memorable tightly wound feats of guitar riffing. There are plenty of dynamics, and there are a lot of notable moments of melodic grandeur throughout the playing time.

The jarring riffs are often broken up by some lighter harmonies, unorthodox and strange details as well as acoustic interludes. Take for example “Der Eindringlichkeit unversöhnlichster Garottuer” (yes, this is an actual song title) which builds up in groovy mid-tempo fashion before offering a chilling middle section with kind of a bluesy tone to it, but with the music being accompanied by some empathic German spoken words. The album presents a barrage of unconventional ideas that keeps you hostage for its duration, clinging on for dear life to anything you can find, while often coming to a memorable and surprisingly gentle conclusion. The riffs alternately swirl in delirious circular motions and then pitch suddenly and violently, keeping the listener’s ears in a state of unease as they are assaulted with layer after layer of intricacies before diving into the next more calmer sections.

Stagwounder have no interest in limiting themselves to just one specific sub-genre. Beside the pillars mentioned above they use certain post metal aesthetics, while at other times a few parts nearly drift into stoner rock and sludge territories. That being said their main style is quite classic mid-paced black metal underpinned with the harrowing escapism of doom, making the album surprisingly accessible. Most of the songs are fervid and fiery, fast and massed with aggressive sound. “Ein Gewölbe für den Sarkophag ihres Hoffens” is a particularly effective example, grounded in a driving riff that the rest of the song slithers and undulates around and over. The rhythm section does a fantastic job while shifting through the gears, but the main attraction are the wild lead guitars, lending each part of the album its place in the bigger picture.

The production is spot on, powerful but not overly compressed. This is an important factor for the success of “The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament” as it offers permanent swaying between the aggressive and the more fragile side of Stagwounder. Ultimately what we have with this album is an incredibly impressive representative of the brimming German scene by another talented outfit, polished but raw, cosmic but infernal, vast but dense, measured but chaotic, and progressively driving with increased conviction towards a hopefully long-lasting career.