Mord’A’Stigmata – Hope

Rating: 3.5/5
Label/Distributor: Pagan Records
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Released: 2017
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Tracklisting:mord a stigmata

1. Hope
2. The Tomb From Fear And Doubt
3. To Keep The Blood
4. In Less Than No Time

Band Line-up:

Golem XIV – Guitars
Static – Guitars
DQ – Drums
Ion – Vocals/Bass


Poland have produced many fine extreme metal bands over the years. Enigmatic Black Metal fiends Mord’A’Stigmata have certainly earned the right to be included on that list. Their brand of BM is more pained and personal than many of their contemporaries. Over time they have honed their sound to a keen edge, and now “Hope” (a somewhat ironic title), their fourth album, is upon us.

The album begins with the title track, which rumbles along with an extremely sinister vibe. The ominous vibe is omnipresent throughout the track, no matter the tempo (which rarely leaves second gear). The track also displays an interesting range of vocals, from clean-but-feral howls to vulpine screeches.

The album moves on with “The Tomb Of Fear And Doubt”, a more doom laden, chain clanking beast; like a predator stalking unsuspecting prey. A deeply disquieting experience. After this the band give us the cataclysmic “To Keep The Blood”, the aural equivalent of watching a planet get swallowed by a black hole.

The album is rounded off with the monochome palette of “In Less Than No Time”; while it is still an impressive statement of intent, fatigue starts to set in. Therein lies the one major criticism of the album. There is a general lack of cohesion throughout. In many places the album fails to flow because there are so many musical ideas (most of which are excellent) are being Frankensteined together. Another small niggle is that album a little too funereal and dirgy. A shot of adrenaline could have worked wonders in a couple of places.

However, there is much to admire about the album. The bass guitar is used to fearsome effect, in ways that many bands would never consider using it. The scope and overall feel are often akin to a nightmare setting where the harder you run to your destination, the further away you seem to get. A partial, but not complete triumph.

Review By Owen Thompson