Location: Budapest, Hungary
Genre: Heavy Metal
Released: February 3, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Uprising – Recent Releases
By: Kris Kotlarik
In February 2012, I saw Stam1na play a set at the Finnish Metal Meeting in Helsinki. With a wide variety of material, all of it in Finnish, they put on an entertaining set that inspired me to check out more of their albums. Their newest effort, SLK, exemplifies their massive array of music influences, and that is one reason why they have rapidly moved up my list of favorite bands.
Enter Anxius, which I am calling Hungary’s “Stam1na Lite.” All of these songs are in Hungarian, and there’s once again a wide variety of influences on display, from traditional heavy metal to some progressive touches. Where this album falters, however, is the lack of polarity extremes. What makes Stam1na so captivating is their ability to blend heavy songs like “Panzerfaust” with catchy songs such as “Usko Pois” without losing their flow. The consistency of Szolgasors (Slavery) is solid, but doesn’t possess the wide array of sound that SLK has.
The best tracks on here, by a considerable margin, are “Messiás,” which is a highly dynamic track, as well as what amounts to the closing track, “Nincs akadály (There is no Obstacle).” That track is similarly dynamic and features a thrashy chorus. The title track stands out as well, especially for its swift midsection.
Most of the other tracks didn’t stand out to me one way or the other, but two made me scratch my head. “Hősök nélkül (Without Heroes)” has two separate samples from Barack Obama, and while I obviously can’t make out the lyrics, the second one features a patented Obama stutter, which leads me to believe that they are making fun of Obama and/or America. I totally understand that we are an easy punching bag for the rest of the world, but from a structural standpoint, the samples don’t appear to serve much of a purpose. The final track, “Mantra,” is a spoken outro that lasts just over a minute and also doesn’t serve much of a purpose. It is akin to what Krisiun has done on several albums with their use of ethnic instruments, except Krisiun never closes an album with such a track.
Overall: I can see this album growing on me over time, but as it stands, it’s just okay.