Stangala
Klañv

Amid all the black and death metal I get sent to review, occasionally I get some more off the wall stuff that gets my attention (i.e Duobetic Homunkulus). Here is one such release from France’s Stangala, and its not just off the wall, it’s out of the house and running naked in the yard.

I really don’t know where to start with describing this, so I’ll use the Metal Archives description: “Doom/Stoner Metal with Celtic folk elements”. Yeah, that’s somewhat accurate, but add Jazz, (there is heavy Saxophone use), death metal, black metal and everything else to the pot and let it stew. The only thing I can think of that’s remotely close is if Pan-Thy-Monium played tripped out, fuzzed out, 70s stoner rock and one of the members was a die hard Eluveitie Celtic/folk metal dude who threatened to quit the band if his stuff wasn’t used. But it all somehow comes together to work.

The Celtic elements collide with with the sax and the fuzzy guitars to create something wholly unique and something I have not heard before, something I rarely say after 16 years of reviewing. Opener “Bigoudened an Diaoul : Orinoù”  might give you some idea what to expect: It starts with a pure 70s porno groove, then a Celtic/folk gallop turns into a secy, smooth sax laced freestyle party,  and it all ends with a black metal blast complete with distant howls.  I’m scratching my head and tapping my feet at the same. And that’s one song folks.

The album’s descent into sheer insanity continues for the next 40 minutes. There’s the more pure moody tribal doom of “Hent Loar” with more black metal vocals. The you get the more uptemo, grooving “Lutuned an noz”, which really gave me a  Pan-Thy-Monium and even Xysma vibe. Finally there is a sort of straight forward track in the title track, a largely instrumental folk/Celtic gallop laced with bagpipes. “N’eus ket dremmwel hiviz” is a sort of mid album respite with an Opeth-ian clean, proggy acoustic hue. “Jan” gets my foot tapping again with a nice little hazy/70s/stoner groove, made even cooler by the Sax/pipes.

Things get laid back again for “Marv int ar martoloded”, a bluesy, fuzzed out, lounge-y rocker, but I have to admit, by now my attention is wandering, even with the intriguing mix of styles, and almost 9 minute closer  “An Ankoù hag ar vor” is a sprawling, moody, largely instrumental, doom jaunt, I’m craving something more straight up metal. But if you are in the mood for something truly different and most certainly off the metal beaten path, Klañv is a neat little curiosity that is a welcome break from the brutality.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 4th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Nice review, I dig what I’m hearing and that first paragraph had me howling! Ha ha, this is pretty batshit stuff for certain.


  2. Commented by: StevhanTI

    Great album and very rewarding upon multiple listens. Their previous work is definitely worth seeking out as well, it’s generally a bit more pyschedelic/doom-y but just as crazy and challenging.


  3. Commented by: Jay

    I’m gonna have to dig into the stuff before this one now. These guys got me hooked.


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