Stemm Songs for the Incurable Heart

Bridging the gap between thunderous hardcore, Gothenburg-styled metal and the more approachable radio metal sounds of say, Disturbed, is no simple feat. However, paving that bridge with enough guts to be aggressive and powerful but a sense of melody that is enticing without relegating everything to crap is even harder. In the case of Songs for the Incurable Heart, Stemm have done some amazing roadwork. Their influences stand out like a sea of patches sewn onto their denim jackets yet blend together smoothly, giving the album familiarity without seeming plagiarised. Chugging breakdowns pulled from Hatebreed are offset by raging blast beats reminiscent of older In Flames. Vocally, the lyrics are delivered in a manner clearly inspired by Pantera and Chimaira, while the influxes of softer harmonies are pulled from Sevendust and the previously noted Disturbed. It’s a strange metallic salad, but the flavours are bold yet surprisingly complimentary. (I Scream)