01 Genesis
02 Pokerface
03 Rocket Machine
04 Faces in the Mirror
05 Promise Me
06 Gates of Valhalla
07 Castaway
08 Bounty Hunter
09 Sister Sister
10 Viking Nation
11 Written in Stone
12 To Be Continued

Rob Mancini – vocals
Alexandre Santos – rhythm guitars
Neil Fraser – lead guitars
Joe Petro – bass

Vinny Appice – drums on tracks #01 to #08
Simon Wright – drums on track #09
Patrick Johansson – drums on tracks #10 and #11
Jeroen Tel – synths and keyboards on tracks #01, #03, #06 and #12
Dinho – screams on track #08



All songs written by Alexandre Santos, except for tracks #01 and #12,
written and arranged by Jeroen Tel
All lyrics by Rob Mancini
Songs arranged by STAGMA
Mixing and mastering by Alexandre Santos
Artwork by Zacarias d’Araujo

Released 2018-04-06
Reviewed 2018-04-06


headshell records

Lately I have been playing through this self-titled debut album by the band called Stagma over and over and today I put some words to paper about how I look at it. It is a band of musicians well known within the melodic rock genre, something that might peek a music fan’s curiosity. But we all know that more often than not bands of very skilled guys who does great work for other bands tend to make pretty boring album, so how about Stagma? Will they make the pokerface crack a smile? Well, it probably might, Alex Santos’ band begun in 2015 and the first recordings were made in 2016 and now we can see this debut album and it looks kind of good.

Musically it is heavy melodic rock with groove and catchiness, and the production is good and pretty exciting – it makes me think of a band like Ten in many ways. Good vocals and good production, good variation through the songs as well. It is not really an album that reinvents the wheel but it has a pretty fresh sound over a dozen tracks where we have an intro and an outro that stand somewhat apart from the ten other tracks where the outro reminds me about the video games of the past, like the NES system to name one. It is an easy album to take in and like but it is also an album with depth that gives it longevity, you can play it over and over if you would want to. It is a great production.

But it is not only a great production; I think it is a great album. The songs are all good and I don’t think the album has any weaknesses; it is great from start to finish. Tracks like Pokerface, Written in Stone and more are very enjoyable to play through making it a strong musical experience to listen through this album. But while the regular rocking songs are great, I still think the retro style video game-like ending called To be Continued is the greatest song of the album – such a great feel and it leaves the album promising more is to come and I can hardly wait for that continuation. This is without a doubt a great melodic rock album that feels quite familiar but still manages to sound fresh and interesting – and most of all it is really good.

When we are informed that it is to be continued it is difficult not to leave this album with a positive feeling. It is a great ending with a great song and it promises that Stagma will return with a continuation to the story and that positive feel towards the album is what I take with me now that I am finished with my work (but not finished with the album). Stagma comes highly recommended from me, it is an album you should not miss.






Label: Headshell Records
Three similar bands: Ten/Scar For Life/Boneyard Dog
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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