Strommoussheld Halfdecadance

Strommoussheld are a Polish band whose official website describes them as playing an "avant-garde mixture of psychodelic [sic], neoindustrial and symphonic metal.” On this side of the ocean it sounds like metal-tinged industrial. And while the dissident synths and other electronic flourishes combined with furious drums hold true to the genre, Strommoussheld also make the mistake of being painfully derivative by choosing to employ angry growling vocals on every track but those that are instrumental. Yet there are times when they almost work, when lyrics are jutted up rough against the clanking, grinding, throbbing tracks beneath them, but their one-dimensional range leaves them feeling more stereotypically dark for the sake of being dark, then being truly so. Almost unbelievably the same rage-stoked vocal style is used on much more melodic and less uber-thumpy tracks, where it comes off as painfully displaced. All that said, the ultra-short six-song CD, Halfdecadance, is not a total disappointment. The disc contains a couple purely instrumental offerings, and these end up being the tracks that not only compel but allow the group’s musicianship and the musical complexity of their arrangements to shine through. There’s two sides to Strommoussheld: the one that’s doing the same thing as all their industrial/dark metal peers and the one that dares to create equally heavy but intricate instrumental landscapes and experiment with lyricless compositions. The latter is certainly the more interesting, but I suspect there is less chance for fame and money in it. (Metal Mind)