Up for discussion today, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Revelations, the debut full length album by Parisian trio Starmonger. Now when I say it’s the debut full length album, what it is, in fact, is the amalgamation of the bands Revelations EP series. It’s the coming together of all four of their previous EPs over the last five years, on a single long player.
So, there’s the possibility you may already know the band, or like me, you’re new to the table, and are thirsty to see what Starmonger are all about. To settle you in before we start with the album itself, here’s a little about the band who are a three piece from Paris, France, comprised of Steve, who assumes vocal and bass duties, Arthur, who is responsible for guitars, among other things, and Seb, who deals with drums. Genre wise, they fall in to a doom meets stoner, meets classic rock, kind of ball Park, though not necessarily firmly in to those parameters.
Opening track, Rise Of The Fishlords really grabbed me on two counts. Firstly, because of that awesome track name. There are times when I feel like our country is being run by said ‘Fishlords’, so really didn’t know what to expect coming in to the game. Thankfully it wasn’t referencing the said rulers we love to hate, so that’s a win for sure. On the second count, upon my initial listen, I was struck by a vocal that hit me. Like an easier going version of the dark lord himself, the one and only Glen Danzig. The dark crooning grabbed me, and compelled me to want to hear more.
Upon closure inspection I became aware of a much larger animal indeed. Running alongside the Danzigesque vocal, is a wall of sound, which chops and changes, and doesn’t overly settle on to any path for its entirety. One second its stoner, and the next its slipped firmly into classic rock territory. With this sort of opener, I’m hooked on finding out if this theme continues for the whole album.
it flows beautifully, and for its classic rock meets stoner vibe, its impossible to point a finger toward any specific timeframe, as its sound is both retro, and equally timeless…
Track two, The Last Man, takes things off in a slightly psychedelic tangent, complete with soundbites from what I assume is a vampire film, based on the context of the conversation . Again, not what I was ready for, and by track three, Rust To Dust, everything had shifted again. This time, into a more retro sound, nothing specific, but I conclude that the sound has an air of the NWOBHM’s about it.
As Blindfold kicks in, I’m beginning to get a feel for Starmonger. The track has far more a classic rock feel, and it’s so wonderfully played, that the talent of the musicians shines through. At this point my initial findings on Rise Of The Fishlords, about settling on paths has changed. The vocal is less Danzig, and the overall sound from all departments is far more classic rock. As much as I had misjudged Starmonger, I’m still very much enjoying the quality of the playing. Yes, the sound is tried and tested, there’s not any real new ground being broken, but with quality like this, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
Track six, Drafter, again picks up on the range of the band, and the whole feel changes. This track is the highlight for me, it has a somewhat faster pace, is harder than the previous numbers, and feels more urgent. For me this is great, I like my music to have a certain awe or darkness and pace to it, and therefore hits me in a more decisive way.
As the final third of the album plays through, Starmonger drop back into the sound that best suits them, and there’s a return to that classic rock style that they’re so good at utilising, but in their own special way.
After the album has finished, and I reflect on it as a whole, I think the thing I take most from it is it works as a complete piece, and doesn’t feel like a project that’s been assembled over a period of years. Everything works, it flows beautifully, and for its classic rock meets stoner vibe, its impossible to point a finger toward any specific timeframe, as its sound is both retro, and equally timeless, at the same time.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish