StormbounD – December (Self-Released)Wednesday, 10th August 2022
Marketing in the modern music industry has changed compared to the early practices of radio play, physical sales, and then hitting the road. These days singles and videos can make modest in roads, setting the stage for an EP or album build-up before getting the band on stage. Israel’s StormbounD formed in 2018, working on their sound while releasing a series of singles/videos while assembling the output for this full-length December. As a sextet, the foundation of these nine tracks comes from a symphonic metal platform, yet certain outside influences sprout up depending on the atmosphere and textures of the song – incorporating everything from modern rock to power, progressive, or even extreme metal angles.
Lush orchestration against staccato-driven meets Evergrey-like crunch and progressive measures allows “Altar of Innocence” to garner immediate appeal, the sophisticated leads as well as majestic upper register melodies from frontwoman Yael Horwitz supplemented by the harsh screams of guitarist Ofer Friedman keeping aural anticipation pinned from first to final note. Calmer acoustic strains, bells, and emotive keyboard parts from Rotem Sadia provide that moving cinematic ballad moment for “Shadows”, adding a classical touch at times while Yael pushes her voice to Evanescence / Epica heights. Laughing children plus a tribal-like drum tempo/ chanting sequences make the closing nine-minute plus “Child’s Play” another dynamic stunner – the crafty guitar/keyboard interplay during the instrumental sequences showcasing a bit of their Dream Theater-like chops, the momentum building into a lively beauty versus beast vocal battle. The pulsating 80’s synthwave/dance-like nuances to “Away from Here” soon mutate into an interesting power/progressive cocktail, using male/female clean melodies to mesmerize as the twin guitar harmonies lead into a bombastic, anthemic ending.
Clocking in at almost an hour, December positions StormbounD in that category of crossing over to multiple audiences across the symphonic metal/rock landscape. Quality musicianship, obvious talent, now it’s more a question of carving out their own niche which should happen through more performances and delving deeper into the songwriting on future releases.