Album Review – Stabbed / Long Way Down (2017)

A beautiful step further in the promising career of a Hungarian Post-Sludge Metal act that presents to the listener a slightly different sounding, showcasing a mad balance of Progressive and Groove Metal.

Following the release of their ambitious 2016 EP Submerge, Hungarian Post-Sludge Metal act Stabbed returns now in 2017 with their first full-length installment, entitled Long Way Down, a beautiful step further in their promising career that presents to the listener a slightly different band, tipping the balance in favor of dominating, heavy grooves, overwhelming raw energy over dark ambience and Post-Rock elements, also showcasing a mad balance of Progressive and Groove Metal.

In addition, Long Way Down is not only the debut of bassist Marcell Demeter with Stabbed, replacing Dávid Roskó (who left the band by the end of 2016), but it also features a welcome surprise in the album closer performed by guest vocalist Tadeusz Rieckmann, primarily known as the drummer of Týr and Dalriada, and the artwork by longtime collaborator Zénó Farkas (Artphetamin), who returned for this album to represent the band visually and artistically. Throughout the album’s eight tracks, this Budapest-based group aimed at materializing through their cryptic lyrics and sharp sounds a portrait of a world full of angst ridden people running in circles, blinded by their fears and apathy, bringing a stronger taste to their musicality.

A modern intro grows into electrifying contemporary Sludge Metal with elements from Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal in the title-track Long Way Down, opening the album on a higher-than-usual note. Furthermore,  frontman Alex Karamuskó sounds bestial with his demented screams, while the guitar duo Attila Kecskés and Gergely Kovács are simply lancinating with their riffs, not to mention the amazing European melody supporting the song in the background. In the vicious Becoming, the whole band is in their most aggressive mode, sounding like an enraged hybrid of Sepultura from the Roots-era with Caliban, with Márk Potkovácz with his potent beats together with newcomer Marcell and his rumbling bass enhancing the song’s ravenousness considerably. Whereas in Tides a somber beginning led by Márk is gradually accompanied by both guitars and bass, before Alex comes with his blend of demonic growling and obscure clean vocals. In other words, this great display of their vibrant Post-Sludge Metal couldn’t sound more modern, metallic and consequently perfect for their live performances.

The following tune, titled Nyctalopia, brings forward more violent sounds with a precise harmonious base, becoming one of the band’s most progressive creations to date with all its breaks and variations, as well as its acid and darkling lyrics (“Descending from the coruscating lights / Into intangible doom / Chimerical phantoms tearing away / The spark from my weakened soul / Complacent proprietor in the house of lies / Leading my rendition to a Blind idiot God”). Then we have Lataris, which just like all of their songs is very cohesive and energetic, showcasing fierce riffs by both Attila and Gergely while Alex keeps hitting us with both his smooth, clean lines and his sick gnarls; and Mute, a song that clearly draws influences from bands like Pantera and Lamb of God in an aggressive mix of Sludge and Groove Metal, with Alex and Márk leading the musicality with their screams and beats respectively, sounding dark and gripping from start to finish.

In Devoid,  Stabbed slow down a little after all their usual display of anger, providing the listener a more melodic and alternative sonority where a solid instrumental with some spot-on guitar solos keeps the momentum going for the band, despite not being one of their best creations. And finally, featuring guest singer Tadeusz Rieckmann, Vessel displays an epic vibe in its intro, morphing into an obscure Post-Sludge Metal anthem with a Groove Metal twist,menacing guitars and bass, and poetic lyrics (“You have to spit to see the shine / Wallow in mud / Look all your demons in the eye / Killing your mind / We have not built this ship to wreck / On promised lands / Take nothing, fuck the test / All that you’ve bled”), as well as the raging guttural by Alex, flowing into an abrupt but climatic ending.

In order to follow Stabbed on their upward journey to success in heavy music with Long Way Down, simply visit their Facebook page for new and tour dates and their YouTube channel for more of their groovy and mordant music. And if you want to buy Long Way Down (which is available for a full listen on Spotify), you can get it at Stabbed’s BandCamp page or on Amazon. After Long Way Down it’s hard to imagine the world of Post-Sludge Metal without Stabbed, a band that has been building a solid reputation since their genesis and that’s becoming a synonym of modern metal music not only in their homeland, but anywhere else where good music is appreciated.

Best moments of the album: Long Way Down, Tides and Vessel.

Worst moments of the album: Devoid.

Released in 2017 Independent

Track listing 
1. Long Way Down 3:52
2. Becoming 4:47
3. Tides 4:24
4. Nyctalopia 3:10
5. Lataris 4:33
6. Mute 5:32
7. Devoid 4:10
8. Vessel (feat. Tadeusz Rieckmann) 5:07

Amazon bonus tracks
9. Long Way Down (Instrumental) 3:52
10. Lataris (Instrumental) 4:33

Band members
Alex Karamuskó – vocals
Attila Kecskés – guitar
Gergely Kovács – guitar
Marcell Demeter – bass
Márk Potkovácz – drums

Guest musician
Tadeusz Rieckmann – additional vocals on “Vessel”

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”