Veteran epic black metallers Stormlord from Rome, Italy have just released their 5th full-length album entitled “Hesperia“, after five years of silence. This great band was formed in 1991 and in their 22 years career they have undergone several line-up and musical style changes, building a very strong name. They have released 5 full-length albums and 3 EPs among others, while their previous album “Mare Nostrum” was released 5 years ago, back in 2008. Since then, Stormlord welcomed two new members in their ranks and signed to the German label Trollzorn / SMP Records, who released “Hesperia” on 20th of September 2013.
Surprisingly enough, “Hesperia“ is the first concept album for Stormlord. It is inspired by the Latin epic poem “Aeneid“, written by ancient Roman poet Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, the Trojan who travelled to Italy and became the ancestor of the Romans. Their music is epic black metal with a perfect production and an unbelievably powerful sound (mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios). There are totally 8 songs in the album, lasting for almost 45 minutes. The band combines epic guitars with atmospheric melodic synths and black metal screaming vocals in a very solid way, while every single part of the album seems very mature and well-thought. There is often a soundtrack atmosphere in their music and their synths have either accompanying, or leading symphonic role, always in harmony with the guitars, never dominating in a bad way their sound. It’s not easy to describe it, but everything works as one in this album. All the instruments and vocals are both powerful and dominant and at the same time all of them complete each other, like an epic extreme metal orchestra! They also use acoustic, classical guitars, piano and traditional instruments, like darbouka, doholla, udu drums, saz, mandola and benas, which add a folk touch in their sound, but very discreetly. Together with the addition of female vocals, background choirs and narrations, they compose the perfect atmospheric background for Aeneas epic legend. Their lyrics are in English, Italian and ancient Latin, all with translations in the CD booklet.
Stromlord’s comeback is very impressive, putting the perfect end to their long absence. “Hesperia” is for sure the most mature and professional work of the band, a perfect example of solid epic extreme metal. The band has perfected its sound and I would only like to listen to some more “lead melodies” in their songs. It is released by Trollzorn Records in a standard jewel case edition CD with a 16-page booklet, illustrated by Gyula Havancsák, who made a wonderful work! You can visit their official pages for more info or watch the official lyric video below for the track “My Lost Empire“.