Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Smoke can't keep the flies away. - 50%

Diamhea, October 12th, 2016

Stormlord, while an admirable and somewhat unique Italian take on symphonic death metal, don't necessarily always hit it out of the park. The last time we heard from these guys was Hesperia, which like most of their albums is decidedly above average, with a cinematic scope unmarred by overwhelming keyboards. The band, however, began as a less idiosyncratic death metal outfit, the likes of which took them two albums to fully exorcise, at least in accordance with their peaking on 2008's Mare Nostrum. Turning back the clock only slightly finds us locking gaze with Stormlord's third release, The Gorgon Cult. Sadly, this is one instance wherein more cues should have been culled from the debut as opposed to the awkward genre-bridging attempt purported within. The album sounds underproduced, and Simone Scazzocchio's endearing orchestrations are dialed back in favor of very little else interesting. It's still Stormlord, but to what end?

Meek returns, so it seems. The mediocrity here is at times crippling, with the guitars content to stumble aimlessly around, squandering their dank, ichor-laced distortion which by itself runs laps around the debut. Of course, this matters little when the riffs are as rote as they are here, lacking in verisimilitude and at best cranking out a roiling gallop or nifty horror atmosphere like on "Under the Boards (195, M.A.)," which earned a cornball music video. The music video is a stylistic mess, with a serious narrative that clashes with a staged "live" performance, otherwise rife with anachronisms like all Stormlord videos are, likely due to the band's lack of budget. Otherwise, the Scarlet Records pressing is stuffed with bonus material you likely aren't interested in, including other bands the musicians are/were involved in. Who thought that was a good idea!?

Back on topic, The Gorgon Cult struggles mightily beyond a select few tunes, but when the band slides into their comfort zone it almost sounds like At the Gates of Utopia again. Select examples include the aforementioned "Under the Boards (195, M.A.)" and "The Oath of the Legion," which demonstrates Scazzocchio's characteristic synth-work at its best. I did appreciate the inclusion of poignant grand piano lines, threaded throughout the otherwise awkward-sounding title track. And really, awkward is the best way to describe much of this album. It feels like it wants to be grandiose and sweeping on songs like "Memories of Lemuria," but nearly every build up is squandered by the pathetic riff quality. Folchitto blasts away with futile returns, and is intermittently brought back down to Earth just when he gets a solid beat going. The only true remaining exception is "Moonchild," which opens sounding like the Stormlord I expected.

I found The Gorgon Cult highly disappointing at the time of release, and while the long wait for Mare Nostrum was worth it, I ended up writing these guys off for so long because of this album. Borchi's blackened sneer is as virulent as ever, and as mentioned earlier; this is still Stormlord, albeit in an uncharacteristically tame and neutered context. Skip this one, as I simply cannot recommend the final product.

Amazing - 100%

myrrhdyrrh, April 6th, 2008

This album is much like stormlord's previous work "At The Gates of Utopia". The guitar and keyboards alternate taking control of the melody, resulting in a sound that creates an ambient, yet powerful atmosphere. The band is able to combine the two sounds quite well, without over doing the keyboards (a point on which i strongly disagree with the reviewer before me), rather than overdoing the keyboards by giving them complete control of the melody, the band knows when to stop and let the other instruments have the spotlight, and then know when to pull the other instruments back and allow the keyboards to take over for a period, which keeps the album from getting boring. On the contrary, this album is simply amazing, every single one of the original tracks on here are worth listening to, and each has its own memorable melodies and riffs that, when combined in the way i've mentioned, left me in awe. While the riffs may have been a bit predictable, they lose no power when combined with the keyboards.

The vox may be a bit difficult to comprehend ( i needed to have the lyrics in front of me in order to follow), but that is not at all a problem, since the the delivery ov the lyrics and the contribution to the overall sound the vox provides is more important than the lyrics themselves. The vocalist also uses the occasional clean vox on this album, which, rather than taking away from the power ov the songs, contributes an interesting sound to the overall feel and emotion of the songs.

The only complaint i had about this album was the maiden cover, i wasn't able to listen all the way through. I would have preffered an original song to a cover of Moonchild.

Standout tracks: The entire album is amazing, but my personal favorites were: Dance of Hecate, Under The Boards, The Oath of The Legion