STEMM – Blood Scent

STEMM - Blood Scent
  • 9/10
    STEMM - Blood Scent - 9/10


Catch 22
Release date: November 11, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

After hearing Blood Scent one can understand how to perfect Groove Metal music. This new modern sub-genre in Metal also co-exists within itself the spreading Metalcore music. Nevertheless, in most cases one will find the same old stuff in Metalcore bands whether it’s the infamous kick downs and familiar vocal patterns. Stemm presents Groove Metal / Metalcore in a different light, in which both New Schoolers and Old Schoolers should enjoy.

Stemm arose from where Hardcore was most influential which is in the state of New York. Since their arrival in 1998, Stemm released an EP and two full length albums, between the years of 2001-2005 , until they ascended with 2008’s Blood Scent, which is also their first album under Catch 22 Records after they left I Scream Records.

True, Stemm plays Groove / Metalcore in general, but they sink into some other sub-genres which makes their style more flexible and more friendly to more listeners, whether they are Metalheads or just mainstreamers. They indulge in Punk , Heavy Rock and Modern Hard Rock in their music and the final result is an interesting piece of music that won’t let one down. All you have to do is play it a couple of times to understand that this is not a typical Metalcore band.
Like most Metalcore bands, power plays a big part in the band’s show and that they take no shit from anyone. Blood Scent says, “I got the power, but I also have a feeling”.

Not every title in this release is a straightforward violent act, which is why the melding of more Rock / Metal elements is so important. For power, the band have a maniacal sound production made by an artist providing a cover of destructive and sharp guitar sound , a halo of bass , a full depth drum recording and amazing work on setting up the vocals.

The first thing that will capture you is probably the guitars, which are dominant almost every step of the way but they are not shadowing any of the other instruments. If you search for a bit of violence you’ve got the right tunes for that , but the heavy guitars are all the way through the album , whether they produce a full blowing riff of skull bashing mosh pit or chaotic rhythms or acoustic / chorused sections and, something that most Metalcore lacks, artistic solo sections made with wah-wah and other effects.

The drums are the second thing around, providing, with accuracy, catchy speedy tempo blasters alongside slow to mid beats. The bass work, like many others, is a cover for the guitars so nothing special in this department.

Lastly, there are the diverse vocals. Most Metalcore bands’ vocalists have almost the same voice and pattern of singing. Well, here it’s somewhat different, although the singer has a pattern like everybody in the Metalcore / Groove sub-genre, yet his is not only using growls. He has an excellent raspy tone and wonderful soft approach. What is amazing is that in comparison to most of the Metalcore scene , he is using less growls than other tones , which makes songs in Blood Scent more melodic than others. In Stemm’s singer you can find a happy mixture of Phil Anselmo, Cory Taylor of Slipknot and even Disturbed’s David Draiman. With insurance, this is a hell of a mixture.

Highlights from this release: “Blood Soaked” , you wanted violence , you got it, check out the only kick down in the album which is superb. “House Of Cards” a tune that runs between modern Hard Rock and Groove. “One King Down” and “Awake”, a groove classic, kind of like late Sentenced with great riffs and vocals. “The Devil Walks Among Us” , a lesson to learn, for the ones who craved for some more power – this is it. “Broken Face Masterpiece” , the title tells the whole story but with Punkish elements here and there. “As Real As Its Gets”, an amazing track kind of like Godsmack in a way. “Beneath My Skin” , Hard Rock at its best with a mixture of acoustic and electric guitars and soft vocals full of emotions. “Never Will Break” is a call back to the groove with a maniacal solo section and melodic leads infused with wah-wah.

Stemm is the best definition to how Metalcore should sound and act. With hope that upcoming Metalcore bands will learn from these people, they have been around more than 10 years and they have the experience on how to perfect their music.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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