Stortregn – Impermanence (2021) – Review

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Stortregn have that knack to usurp your attention right from the beginning of a record. There’s no dicking around for these guys. And they prop all of their wares up against some ominous theory or other corny philosophies. And this time its Impermanence in all its cosmic splendor.

The band may start with a wee bit of acoustics at first. Might. But then they just stomp their tariff right into your earphones and grab whatever energy you possess. Then they pummel you with their limitless riffing prowess, growl at you relentlessly, and spit you out undigested once the record is done.

There, you have it.

And that is how Impermanence feels like, too. A trait that is fully in line with their former pieces Singularity and Emptiness Fills the Void, by the way. Only this time, the band starts to lean a tad more into the tech death arena. However slight and refined their brand of tech may feel after some crazier examples earlier this year. But make no mistake, the piece is still roasted to a decent grade of blackness. And they never lose that smoky Death Metal flavor that continues to bubble to the surface.

The record is surely not that ubiquitous in-your-face type and out-of-control tech that other bands often push. And the latter do that – well – just because they can, in a world of music software and mixing boards with an endless number of tracks. Yet, Impermanence still conquers you with firebrand intensity and a merciless succession of riffs, licks, and solos. So, chose yer poison, metal traveler.

To turn up the heat even more, this record is by far denser than its brethren in crime. An overly loud wall of sound that just rolls over you like an artillery attack straight out of a metallic black hole. And there’s no escape for ye, you’ll get that if you want it or not.1) Yet this time, that proverbial wall is so well constructed, it actually forms part of the piece and does definitely not become an impediment to success. Far from it.

Furthermore, the toasty blackened rasps and the comfortable Death Metal growls will endlessly take punches at you. But that’s what you came here for, right? So, never complain. And you indeed won’t find a helluva lot of clears, apart from some monologue from hell (Cosmos Eater, for instance) and a few tiny whispered parts.

And all this happens whilst the guitars endlessly noodle about the soundscape with ever more sophisticated riffs and solos. Boy, Timeless Splendor even gets the bass squarely to the forefront. And that’s not something we often see outside of the blackest metal offerings on the market.

Oh, and if you’re looking for riffs made for the trve metallist, try some Grand Nexion Abyss.2) That one takes the cake with that riff/solo3) interlude thing that – seemingly – never ends. Okay, evil tongues would could argue that this is a blatant attack to squeeze some airtime out of a track that would have petered out, else. Yet, the impartial judge at RMR sez that it’s just the boys at Stortregn doing what they do best. And that is riffing the hell out of everything.

It is thus a pity that the excellent drums sometimes take over and push anything else back into the mix. Usually Stortregn chisel things out quite perfectly. But Impermanence here indeed contains a few duds. Like the one on the title track that, for some stretches, only seem to contain the stick wielder. And that is not good.

Yet in the end, Impermanence is true Stortregn, brought about by really talented musicians who know their shit and are quite set in their ways. Yet, that also means that one shouldn’t expect some major sea-change in style. Even if this time, the much improved and refreshing flow will make you devour the album in one go. Fully powered and still deliciously raw.

And truly so, the band – yet again – stayed straight in the comfort zone of those well-known and juicily powerful metallic waters of theirs. Case in point, I also found a record that still bases itself largely on Blackened Death Metal with some relatively smooth Tech Death mixed into it.4)

But ultimately, Stortregn – yet again – produced a pretty stellar juice-dripping slab of red-hot Extreme Metal. Cooked to perfection, just the way we like it.

Ed’s note: An early 2021 collection of the most memorable extreme records just appeared on RMR. And this band is on it. Oh, and try this for comparison, Archspire or Carrion Vael beckon you.

Record Rating: 8/10 | LabelThe Artisan Era | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 12 March 2021


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