Stillborn – Netherworlds Review

Oh, boy! Some reviews are so hard to write. There’s been almost one week I’ve been trying to write something about Stillborn and “Netherworlds.” No, it’s not because the album is bad. When I get a bad album I’d rather not write about than procrastinating. It’s just because I’m with some kind of author’s block or I’m really procrastinating.

Here’s some info about Stillborn:

In 1989, Stillborn released their debut album “Necrospirituals,” today seen as a cult classic and possibly the first gothic metal album ever released. In fact, the term gothic metal was not even invented at that time. The sound was rough and heavy as lead, and the band drew inspiration from such weird and various sources as Ennio Morricone, Lee Hazlewood, Fritz Lang and Black Sabbath, and melted it down to their own creepy mixture, all done with a twisted smile.

The one who managed to best describe the band is probably the signature Zodijackyl at the Metal archives: “Stillborn meld the gloomy horror film origins of doom metal with the morbid aesthetics of gothic rock and create something special.” Although the band is relatively unknown to the vast majority, it has influenced important artists such as Paradise Lost, Entombed and Cathedral.”

Well, in fact, the album is very good with a mix of gothic elements with doomy ones. Its dark atmosphere really gets the fan by the guts with tracks as “Katharsis” whose slow cadence addresses to Doom Metal and Kari Hokkanen’s vocals address a lot to Peter Steele’s. His grave voice gives a very peculiar tone to all the tunes here. The effect of his voice is totally a game changer especially in tracks as “Abigail” where he has a duet a an unknown female voice. The outcome is ungodly, if you know what I’m saying. The out-of-this-world effect given in “Albino Flogged in Blue” really gives the song an ethereal aura and some mysterious mood.

“Netherworlds” is, to some extent, a very simple album. Its instrumentals are naive sometimes as the guitars of opening and warming track “Neophyte.” The secret is what the band does with all the elements they mix here. It’s the intent theband gives to its music. Put all together the effects, the atmosphere, the mood, the vocals we have have an album that outstands. Well, it’s not nnecessary to shred to be good. That’s all.

Stillborn “Netherworlds” was released on June 28th via Black Lodge.

Track Listing:

  1. Neophyte
  2. Children of Darkness
  3. Dead Black Woods
  4. Katharsis
  5. Abigail
  6. Albino Flogged in Blue
  7. Lusus Naturae
  8. Motherland
  9. We Monkey
  10. When the End Begins

Watch “Katharsis” official music video here: