Back in 2019, I premiered a track from a promising, progressive, heavy French band called Stömb. I made the comparison back then to Night Verses and I stand by it; Stömb play this sort of dark, agile, and heavy progressive instrumental metal that is a joy to listen to when you're in the mood for something that goes hard but is also introspective and varied. It appears that now, as the band ramp up towards the release of their new album, Massive Disturbed Meta Art, they've taken their music to another level, adding not only multiple collaborations with well known artists to their toolkit but also a more expansive, dynamic, and progressive approach to composition.
You can hear all of that on "Meta Art", which I am ecstatic to premiere here. First, it features none other than friend of the blog Jørgen Munkeby (Shining NOR) and his distinctive, saxophone tone. Stömb have done what every band featuring this (or any other brass instrument) should do and actually wrote parts for it, instead of just jamming it in the middle of the track. Instead, the saxophone breathes a lot of life into this already expansive track, working well with its themes of introspection and artistic suffering. To further articulate this point, the band have teamed up with artist Jérôme Oudot Trëz, to illustrate the destructive/creative process of bringing art to life.
Finally, of course, there is the music of Stömb themselves. They sound very much like they did before, in the basic levels of the work, but way more articulate, dexterous, and adventurous. The contrast between heavy and light is handled extremely well, both sides of the track fleshed out, written, and performed to an equal degree. When the track unfurls its heavier parts, it is also not content with just repeating the same idea, creating interesting variations on the theme and going unexpected places with its chuggy riffs. Bottom line, "Meta Art" is the most interesting track we've got from the band so far (though the other single from the album, "The Realm of Delirium", is also excellent.
Make sure you head on over here to pre-order the album. I said this the last time the band released an album and I was right - this will surely be one of the more interesting albums of the year, in the progressive metal spaces to say the least and probably beyond.