The Altstadt Abyss

1. The Silver Apples of the Moon
2. Sea Foam Empyrean
3. Saturnalia for Posterity
4. Wolves & Seagulls
5. Where My Vessel Dwells
6. Spheroid Nine
7. The Altstadt Abyss

Andreas Märs – Vocals, Guitars
Nicolao Dos Santos – Backing Vocals, Guitars
Till Ottinger – Bass
Christian Schmidt – Drums, Piano

An Eroticism in Murder (2010)
II: Thin White Paint (2015)

Kevin Olasz - add. lead guitars on tr. 7
Michael Kerpers - sitar on tr. 5

Produced by Andreas Märs
Mixed by Michael Haas
Mastered by Roman Beilharz

Released 2018-11-16
Reviewed 2019-01-09


fastball music

Steorrah from German are the ones I have been listening to for a while now, a band that that released their third studio album not too long ago. It is an album called The Altstadt Abyss and it contains seven tracks, and it doesn’t really have a very interesting cover and the fact is that the most interesting thing I read in the press sheet was the ending phrase: “we recommend enjoying it with a cuppa earl grey and a spell of doomsday weather.” Who can avoid to be impressed by such comment? So lets see what you can enjoy with your tea.

A progressive metal album, progressive death metal perhaps as it employs quite a few death metal elements and growly vocals. But they do go into more normal progressive rock territory with nice clean vocals and some clever song writing. Quite a varied album I think, and the playing time is kept sensible as well. I think that the production could have been better, especially on the extreme parts of the album as those tend to feel slightly tame. But I think you can claim that they do their own thing and have a fairly original sound, but at the same time there is a lot of it feeling very familiar – I also think that the album feels a little bit fragmented or incoherent if you prefer that term.

There are parts of this album that are just excellent, parts where you just come to think or say: this was great. Then just as often you say the opposite, like this is shit or something like that – especially the extreme metal with growls are terrible. And then there are the parts that are just indifferent making this album feel fragmented as you find it terrific at times, just terrible at other times and perhaps mostly indifferent. I have seen some positive reviews but I am not impressed, perhaps if you liked the band’s earlier album or the similar bands, but I like Cynic but not these guys.

It is the indifferent and the terrible parts that are the most numerous and the album is mostly heard with a slightly negative frame of mind, sometimes I just want to eject it and throw it out the window of the car – but it is cold outside so I don’t want to open the window, therefore I am glad to be done with this album, it has been quite an effort to play through it enough times. But they should have credit for daring to do their thing and daring to fail rather than being afraid to succeed. In the end I don’t think you have missed much to write home about if you haven’t heard this album.






Label: Fastball Music
Three similar bands: Atheist/Death/Cynic
Rating: HH
HHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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