Album Review – Stabbed / Submerge EP (2016)

Time to get “stabbed” with the groovy and metallic music by this emerging Hungarian Post-Sludge Metal band.

Rating5

stabbed_cover_fnl_txt_smlIf you appreciate all the crazy progressiveness and pulse from bands such as Opeth, Meshuggah, Katatonia, Mastodon and Tool, I think I have a brand new underground Post-Sludge Metal band hailing from the sophisticated city of Budapest, Hungary that might fulfill your needs for the interesting fusion of the modern Heavy Metal from the late 90’s with the vigorous punch of Groove Metal from the early 00’s. This band answers to the name of Stabbed, and they’ve just released their debut EP, straightforwardly entitled Submerge.

Formed in 2012 as an industrial/ambient rock project by guitarist Attila Kecskes, which culminated in a demo of six songs written and recorded solely by Attila, Stabbed evolved to a bolder and heavier act in 2013, and since then the band has been working hard to deliver good music to fans of contemporary metal music. From the enigmatic album art designed by Hungarian artist Zénó Rolf Farkas (Artphetamin) to the darkling lyrics found in each of its five songs, Submerge offers the listener Stabbed’s current view of the society we live in, also pointing to the direction the band will probably follow in their future releases.

The opening track, Ruins, is fully progressive and groovy from the very first second, proving Stabbed are not kidding when they say they’re heavily influenced by Opeth and Mastodon despite all the additional Metalcore elements found their music. Switching from pure heaviness to ominous passages and back to a more visceral sounding again, this song highlights the precision of drummer Mark Potkovacz behind his kit, as well as its Pantera-inspired solo ending things properly. Creed keeps the high level of energy up with guest vocalist Péter Palotás and its weird but interesting lyrics (“We carved graves into our eyes / Burying illusions of our flawless mind / Tremors of a heavy beating heart / Rupture scars into our restless skull”), getting a lot closer to the demented music played by Mastodon. In addition, pay good attention to the peculiar guitar sounding crafted by Attila and his fellow guitarist Gergely Kovacs, it’s indeed a nice experience.

009-D-FBLast Stand, with its spot-on headbanging beats and riffs, is another song that blends Sludge Metal with Metalcore in a solid manner especially due to the clean vocals by lead singer Alex Karamusko, who by the way also provides a good amount of anger through his harsh screams during the entire EP. And in Reversal a slower and melancholic start suddenly turns into a violent rhythm, with Alex powerfully vociferating the song’s cryptic lyrics (“Leave before they / Picked up your scent / Find out you’re not one of them / Never let yourself be seen / Through the smoke of fears / They will reach inside your dreams”). In a nutshell, this is an introspective Sludge Metal/Metalcore tune with some interesting tempo changes a la Mastodon.

Lastly, closing the EP Stabbed deliver another angry composition entitled Carceri, featuring Peter Kelner as a guest vocalist doing the deeper growls. Let me tell you this partnership works extremely well, turning this into the best tune of the EP in my opinion, with David and Mark smashing their bass guitar and drums respectively until the music flows into a groovy finale.

In order to get “stabbed” with the organic and metallic music by Stabbed, go check their Facebook page, YouTube channel (where you can take a listen at the entire EP) and SoundCloud page, and don’t forget to support this emerging Hungarian act by purchasing Submerge at their BandCamp page, on iTunes (where they also offer the instrumental versions of all songs) and in many others locations.

Best moments of the album: Last Stand and Carceri.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing
1. Ruins 5:10
2. Creed (feat. Péter Palotás) 3:09
3. Last Stand 4:17
4. Reversal 5:13
5. Carceri (feat. Peter Kelner) 6:04

Band members
Alex Karamusko – vocals
Attila Kecskes – guitars
Gergely Kovacs – guitars
David Rosko – bass
Mark Potkovacz – drums

Guest musicians
Péter Palotás – additional vocals on “Creed”
Peter Kelner – additional vocals on “Carceri”

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