We appear to have entered a new age with this review. “The Age of Giant Monsters” to be exact! This is the latest album from the Latvia based morphing metal unit by the name of Stagnant Project. Contrary to what their name may suggest, they’re anything but stagnant. However, their new album title is spot on… their music is giant! They take all sorts of elements from extreme metal, groove metal, industrial metal, etc. and sandwich them together with a heaping helping of creativity along with talent and a penchant for fun.
So how does this all boil down? Most will have to wait and see on April 15th when the album officially releases. However, we got a sneak peek into this monster’s maw to see just how hard it bites. Let’s climb in further and see if we get out of this one alive! The album will be made available on all major online music platforms this month where pre-orders are also currently available. For example, you can find this fabled creature roaming around the Amazon among other (not so) exotic locations.
My initial approach to this record was somewhat unorthodox, landing my ears right in the middle of things. I was doing a quick audio test shortly after receiving the files from the good people at Stagnant Project and decided to click onto track #7 “Inkblot” through good ol’ VLC media player. That superstition surrounding lucky number 7 turned out to be true because I found myself listening to the entire track following what was just meant to be quick audio test. It’s one of the album’s few instrumental tracks but it really hooked me in that hard.
A couple hours later on my first, proper, full listen to the album, I wasn’t initially as keen listening to the opener / title track “The Age of Giant Monsters” but both that song and this entire LP quickly grew on me. There’s just so much to enjoy on this record as you dig deeper and the fact that it centers around FUN is just a lovable quality.
When I listen to an album such as this, my mind automatically shifts towards the live show. There’s so much energy just exploding out of this record, it can hardly be contained. It’s far from difficult to imagine crowds and ears from around the world reacting to this positively.
There’s a definite sense of humor to “The Age of Giant Monsters”, cranking up the entertainment of the overall presentation to 11 at times. It’s really a bit refreshing considering how pretentious this field can be. The fact that this record doesn’t take itself too seriously while still being quite musically enjoyable makes me that much more inclined to like it. There’s a ridiculous series of narrations that appear between just about every track. It reminds me a bit of comedy shows along the lines of South Park. A chuckle between songs doesn’t hurt as a palette cleanser. In some ways, this album reminds me of a personal favorite, Devin Townsend. You could easily draw some parallels between “The Age of Giant Monsters” and a record like “Ziltoid the Omniscient”.
There’s a story to this album that is both whimsical and entertaining. It’s like taking in a metal cartoon experience. There’s a lot of personality to this album that helps it stand out front the pack. As mentioned before, the sound is also massive which only adds to the scope of this narrative.
There’s certainly no shortage of content on “The Age of Giant Monsters”. All in all, the entire package includes no less than 14 tracks! That’s also raking in some bonuses but it all adds to the replayability factor here. This isn’t a case of quantity above quality either. There’s a lot to enjoy on this LP. For example…… “Kaiju” is an instant face-melter. “Invincible Kid” is a quirky & epic intro to one of the album’s main characters – if you will. The title track is actually quite massive, all the while keeping listeners on their toes. “Wings of Terror” is a ripper. That’s really just scratching the surface… There’s also a notable bonus cover of the Metallica track “Some Kind of Monster” (for the album “The Age of Giant Monsters”… go figure haha). However, I have to say the Kino cover for the track “Mama, My Vse Soshli S Uma” takes the cake from the final two.
This band has some wicked creativity behind their craft and it really pays off in pushing this LP to new levels. Certain moments really floored my ears. There is a relatively consistent approach to the music (as in it does belong altogether) but like a high speed roller coaster in the dark, one can never be quite certain of what twists and turns will come next. This is anything but a predictable record and the effect is just accentuated by all the (sub) genre-bending happening here.
The instrumentation is solid. Every member brings something noteworthy to the end product. There appear to be five working parts to this unit but the chuckle worthy descriptions over on Facebook really need to be seen firsthand. In particular, I have to say I love the drumming on this record. It has some insanely well placed blast beats running through and generally helps that whole effect of things feeling larger than life.
Onto the criticisms with three cheers for negativity! For the most part there aren’t any but… The mix on this album suffers a bit. Sometimes your ears will find mud or seemingly odd levels but, ultimately, it doesn’t do much to hold things back from entertaining audiences. The clean vocals leave something to be desired but, in a way, they also add to the whimsical nature of this record so it’s really give or take. Some tracks are stronger than others. Numbers like “Show Me The Stars” felt a bit weak among the pack.
However, in the end, “The Age of Giant Monsters” has a lot more going for it than not. This is a hilarious, massive, metal piece of art. It’s definitely not for everyone and it’s definitely not a perfect release but it’s quite successful in its mission to entertainment. It’s the first metal album that made me laugh this year (in a good way). So, as the hammer of final judgement falls, I would give this one a giant 8 out of 10.
You can enjoy the album teaser for yourself up above. Also, keep in mind that the band will officially be launching this LP on April 15th through all major music platforms so prepare yourselves! You can follow along with Stagnant Project more closely through social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube….. even MySpace! If you enjoy the scale of what this band is doing, be sure to let them know!