After the release of their self released EP in 2010, US metalers Stealing Axion were soaked in acclaim from media and fans alike. Its release also triggered massive anticipation for their debut full length album which now released, is unlikely to leave any disappointment even if arguably it does not ignite the fiercest of fires.
Formed near the tail of 2009 by guitarists Dan Forbrich, Josh DeShazo, and bassist Phil Willmarth, the band in many ways could be called an internet sensation as their previously mentioned demo took their presence rapidly to wider and greater heights on the web. Building upon this introduction the band began writing for an album and eventually with enough material found themselves contacted by TesseracT guitarist Acle Kahney, in regard to mixing and mastering the tracks for what was to become “Moments”. Released through InsideOut Music, the album is a hypnotic weave of textures and dynamic sounds brought with imagination and enterprise, the vibrant result of stunning, intricate and diverse composing.
From the opening building atmosphere of ‘Mirage Of Hope’, the album starts enveloping the senses with exquisite invention and aggressive intensity brought within a maelstrom of structures and remarkable ingenuity. The first track once wrapped around the ear, twists and ripples with muscular energy within emotive melodic weaves brought with uncompromising invention and dramatic air. It incites thoughts and teases emotions with its precise play and hungry djent charges brought with effortless accomplishment. Vocally the band fuse strong growls and clean vocals as skilfully as they combine sounds for a full pleasure.
It is a powerful start soon eclipsed by the following ‘Solar’, its distorted carnival like initial synth mischief instantly igniting a captivation. The heavy pulsating heartbeat of the song growls from within a mesmeric ambience until both aspects shift into tighter and more acidic presences. As the song continues to infect with great quality the production stands out in its clarify allowing every aspect to shine and pulsate. There is a definite Faith No More element to the track and also on the excellent ‘Sleepless’ later on, to add something extra.
Songs like ‘Everything Or Nothing’ and ‘Collapse’ are hypnotic in their complex and precise yet seamless expansive blends, these tracks alone exploring and combining progressive, death, and classic metal alongside metalcore with class to intrigue and delight persistently.
Breaking down the album and dissecting songs like ‘It’s Too Late Now’ and the two parted title track, the songwriting and composing is even more staggering and the layers which make up each track sheer beauty or at times brutality, brought perfectly together.
For an album so impressive it does fall short on one aspect, its ability to fire up any strong passions. One can and does drool at its creativity, technical craft, and incredible musicianship, but at no point does it leave one short of breath in excitement. Maybe with the focus on so many striking things at play it defuses the possibility of igniting the heart but there is where it fails. It is still an excellent album though which all should make a point of investigating, just do not expect the heart to start racing in its company.