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Stygian Fair – Equilibrium (CD) Sonic Age records

Stygian Fair from Umeå made their debut in 2017 with the EP ”Into The Coven,” and the year after, they released the debut album “Panta Rei”, followed by “Nadir” in 2019. Now they have produced their third album “Equilibrium”. I shall admit I have missed out on the band’s previous releases, but after having digested this album, they need to be investigated! The album starts with “The Covenant”. I had my fears this could be some bland power metal, but wrong was I. Sure, you could probably file this under “power metal”, but it has a healthy dose of classic hard rock merged into it, and I also got some friendly vibes of early Queensrÿche in the opening track. I like that singer Pontus Åkerlund doesn’t fall into the power metal trap with wailings and high-pitched yelling. He has an excellent voice, and his way of singing is more theatrical, almost tale-telling with a nice melodic feel. He kind of made me think of Christian Liljegren of Narnia, but with less vibrato and his touch. “Gorgon’s Eyes” continues in the same vein while “Into The Light” takes it down to both heavier and softer regions. I almost felt that Manilla Road meets Brocas Helm, which is fine in my book. If someone had just played me this album, I would’ve had a hard time determining when it was recorded. It may as well have been the late eighties. “Infinitum et Finis” is also quite theatrical in its sound, with lovely melodies and different parts that make a nice change. It made me think of the US band Legend (“From The Fjords”). “Dark Angel” picks up the tempo a bit, and here are some friendly progressive retro vibes going on. Pontus sings well with a nice feel and powerful voice. Great stuff, indeed! “Father Of Light” takes it down again, and here I kinda got a sense of old US metal band Culprit. The production by Nils Johansson is good with a nice analog feel to it. Besides Pontus, the band features Anders Hedman on bass, Emil Holmqvist on guitar and P-O Jonsson on drums. The closing title track is an absolute masterpiece with some nice changes in tempo and feel. The album contains nine tracks, and I can’t find any weak links. A really even and good album that should attract fans of bands like Manilla Road, Culprit as well as Iron Maiden and vintage Queensrÿche.

Links:

http://www.stygianfair.se/

https://www.facebook.com/stygianfair

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By Janne Stark

I'm a Swedish guitarist, writer, and record collector. I've recorded a bunch of albums/C.D.s with bands like OVERDRIVE, LOCOMOTIVE BREATH, BALLS, MOUNTAIN OF POWER, ZELLO, PLANET ALLIANCE, plus made guest appearances on stuff by NARNIA, AUDIOVISION, CHRIS CATENA, FAITH, BLINDED COLONY, THALAMUS, M.O.B., TOWER OF STONE, VII GATES, etc. I'm currently involved in the following bands/projects: GRAND DESIGN, MOUNTAIN OF POWER, OVERDRIVE, ZOOM CLUB, and CONSTANCIA. I've been writing for magazines like FUZZ, Backstage, Kool Kat News, Hard Roxx, Sweden Rock Magazine, etc. I still write for metalcentral.net, BallBusterMusic.com and metalcovenant.com, plus I'm the author of the three volumes of "The Encyclopedia of Swedish Hard Rock And Heavy Metal"! I have a lovely wife, two crazy cats and two beautiful daughters.