Review from Doommantia Webzine

Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, November 5, 2012 Under: Album Reviews
From: Doommantia Webzine
Published: April 19, 2012
Original Link

Stroszek’s music does not strictly belong to the genres normally dealt with here at Doommantia (so I’m not going to attribute any mark at the end of this writing). However I remember that at the Sludgeswamp the presence of Stroszek into one of the “legendary” Swamp Compilations and the authorized post of the 2007 debut album by Stroszek, Songs Of Remorse, had gathered much, I must confess unexpected, appreciation. I say “unexpected” not because appreciation is not deserved, but because I was not sure whether the consumers of bearded metal would enjoy tunes so different from their typical raw heavy and fuzzy stuff. I was wrong. The Swampers proved to be open-minded consumers of cool tunes. Swamp times are gone but many connections are still alive. So I was really glad when long-haired Claudio Alcara, mind, wispers and strings behind Stroszek, came back to me recently and announced the release of the third album by Stroszek, “Sound Graveyard Bound”, via the Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records, one of the fine labels recently interviewed by Aleks Aleks Evdokimov in his cool article about underground labels HERE. 

Claudio Alcara is the highly endowed guitarist and founder of one of the most long-lived and internationally appreciated Italian black metal bands, Frostmoon Eclipse. The Portuguese readers who will attend the big SWR Metal Fest XV in Barroselas next week will be able to see them on stage. Since 2007 Claudio Alcara has actually been “caught between the two fires” of fierce, nasty black metal and atmospheric acoustic dark/shoegaze rock as he has grown Stroszek, a parallel, completely own personal acoustic project. In the hauntingly melancholic and introverted music of Stroszek; Claudio Alcara pours waves of pessimism and sadness and expresses his innermost thoughts about life experiences. Project Stroszek is named after the movie by Werner Herzog, apparently last seen by Ian Curtis of Joy Division before committing suicide. The sources of inspiration for Stroszek are musicians like Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury, as well as Mark Lanegan, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and so on. Moreover when you hear some Stroszek’s songs you can’t but catch also similarities of style, melodies and instrumental choices with Opeth’s most famous acoustic album, Damnation. This Opeth-wise feeling is actually also caught in Frostmoon Eclipse’s albums, where fierce black metal possesses rich proggy patterns and often hosted highly atmospheric, dark acoustic interludes. 

So it may be an interesting and highly rewarding experience to explore the two musical faces of Claudio Alcara’s talent. In Stroszek Claudio further develops his own pleasure of and talent in composing and playing guitar masterfully and with no effects, pure chords vibrating in the air. The round sound of Claudio’s guitar is able to create mellow but dark and emotional melodies by interplaying with some great leading bass lines by Davide, bassist in Frostmoon Eclipse, the essential drumming by Richard and the soft but suffering whispers of Claudio’s voice. Pace is generally slow although a few accelerations are introduced. Electric sounds occasionally occur as interludes in Stroszek but are rather subordinated, unlike the shoegaze style as in Alcest or Les Discrets. However electric, “metal” intervals do contribute to variety, so that Stroszek’s music is only superficially fragile, as the touch is soft but riffs are often powerful, melodies are melancholic and sombre but intense and vibrant with energy at the same time. And in the latest album, "Sound Graveyard Bound", the whispering vocal parts by Claudio have been occasionally enriched by the addition of highly charming female vocals, like in the beautiful song “Spirit Dwell." 

Stroszek’s first and second albums “Songs Of Remorse” (2007) and "Life Failures Made Music” (2009) were out vial label God Is Myth Rec.. The latest, third album "Sound Graveyard Bound" has been released on Hypnotic Dirge Records during mid March 2012. When you are intoxicated or over saturated by heavy, raw, loud and nasty music, Stroszek is a way cool balm. 

Reviewed by: Marilena Moroni 

In : Album Reviews 

Tags: stroszek sound graveyard bound life failures made music claudio alcara frostmoon eclipse acoustic country folk black metal melancholy all the bad days in the world 


            Released: March 10, 2012
                           300 Copies
                          Acoustic Folk