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   STYGMA IV
The Human Twilight Zone
2002
Rising Sun Records
http://www.stygma4.com


rating: 4/5

1. Calculation Towers
2. Stygmatized
3. The Void
4. Sleep
5. Earth Children
6. Omega
7. Why
8. The Human Twilight Zone
9. At the End Of My Daze
10. My Failure Reveals
11. Scars
12. The Way To Light

These guys from Austria had a lot of bad luck in regard of their bandname which they already had to change a couple of times during their career - but they're still standing tall. I remember I saw them once live before when they were still called Stigmata IV but other than that I had no contact with their music.......until the day I downloaded the titletrack "The Human Twilight Zone" from their website which made me want to get the whole album. And yeah, I certainly did not regret it as this is a great piece of metal!

Stygma IV play progressive, melodic power metal and often remind me of the heavier sides of Savatage without being a clone. Great riffing and excellent guitar solos, a tight rhythm section and additional keyboards build the basics of the Stygma IV sound. The disc kicks off with a rather straight track, "Calculation Towers" but the band is usually more progressive and diverse than on this track: from straight forward and heavy parts, even groovy at times, to atmospheric and slower passages the band covers everything within the prog/power genre. The highlight of the album for sure is the track "Sleep" that runs for 16 minutes and does not bore a single moment. This song combines everything Stygma IV stands for and probably carries the most symphonic passages on the album. There can also a flute be heard on that track. "Why" is a bit more mellow than the rest of the disc and while I like the singing during the verses I found the chorus a bit too much shouted out. The titletrack is rather catchy again, and "At The End Of My Daze" does have nice acoustic guitars starting the song.
What I didn't like (but has nothing to do with the music itself) is the cover art(?)work and that the lyrics are not printed in the booklet (only some fragments).

submitted by Cora 01.01.2003

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