CD Review

Stigma – “The Failure of Me”

By Marcus Pan

The Failure of MeWhen The Failure of Me, namesake of Stigma’s release of the same name, first opened I thought the keys were quite cutesy and I was thinking this was going to be something of a new-wavey flashy trancy thing. Not so. Stigma crash in the guitars. The technical merit is decent, but for some reason it’s not really grabbing me and making me want to slam my head. I suppose it has something to do with the cutesy keys against the heavy metallic guitars.

Vocals are far in the background, giving the album an underproduced feel. The guitar playing of Stig Rune Robertsen and bass of Endre Hindhammer are somewhat standout and well-played, but The Failure of Me suffers as a whole from underpar recording. I suppose you can’t blame them much for that – but I would suggest raising the vocal levels so they don’t get lost in the guitar uproars.

Time seems to drag a bit, guitars moving just swiftly enough to not fall into the grunge mindset, but vocals seem somewhat left behind somehow. Echoes of Time is a slower paced ballad and Hotel of Stigmas gets lost within itself without a destination in mind. Move On gets a bit crunchier with stronger bass and chorus sections that lighten up the mood just a bit giving an interesting feeling as we move between crunchier melodies and windier choruses. The guitar solo of Move On is one of the areas where I feel comfortable saying that there is technical merit here.

We see the same kind of dragging problem with I Don’t Know as well, but Welcome Home shows us again the technical merits of Stigma’s musicianship even if the vocals still have that dragging feel and aura of not belonging to the surrounding music – a puzzle piece that was forced into the peg.

Nothing on The Failure of Me really stands out so well. Overall it’s not that Stigma’s The Failure of Me is bad. It’s not, really, but it does tend to lose itself a bit as it pushes along. Sometimes it gets lost or stuck in a bit of a quagmire as it tries to trundle its way through the nine tracks here.

Contact Information:
Post: Ulstadlokkveien 26, 7042 Trondheim, Norway
Phone: (479) 007-3559