ALBUM SAMADHI, ALICE IN... RELEASE:
MAY 6, 2002 (MEXICO), SUMMER, 2002 (OTHER TERRITORIES) REVIEW:
MAY 24, 2002
long absence of Stoa from the musical world has been glaring since they
left Hyperium Records in 1997. It also does not help that they have not
released an album since 1995 with "Porta VIII" (a re-release is expected
Cut to 2002 and Olaf Parusel has re-emerged under the banner of the brilliant
band which is Stoa. This is worth owning more than any number of the so-called
"neo-classic" samplers which have exploited this style which creation
Stoa was part of in the early nineties. Along with bands such as Ophelia's
Dream, Anchorage and Love Is Colder Than Death, Stoa was part of Hyperium's
elite in terms of this style. The pairing of synthetic instruments with
classical arrangements is what neo-classic is all about and these bands,
led by Stoa brought into the world a wonderous new style; truly a classical
approach without any of the dreaded world music influences which later
derailed pioneers Dead Can Dance.
The classic style of Stoa flourishes beautifully on this new album. Masterful
string arrangements abound and are accompanied by some scorchingly astounding
vocals by Antje Buchheiser. Add to this some sombre oboe work and crystalline
cello playing and you have an album which will reduce you to a torrent
of emotional jelly.
There is one thing and one thing only which angers me about this album,
of the eleven tracks, only eight are new. The other three have been issued
on compilations over the past eight years. It is for that reason they
only get a seven.
This disc is a fine return to form for Stoa and I really hope they don't
take so bloody long with the next one.