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Review: Stimulans - Dust

Label: One Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 54:59
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: January 30, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (18 Votes)

StimulanS hails from the Croatian city of Split and, after a couple of demos, have released their debut full-length, Dust. Straight up Heavy Metal with very little pretension is what to expect from Dust. Sound good to you? It sure does to me.

Sticking to the tried-and-true guitar/bass/drum configuration allows StimulanS to straddle the line between old school and new. You can definitely hear echoes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the twin guitars of Darko Grubišić and Culjak, who also handles the vocals. Yet their sound is more reminiscent of recent albums by Ravage or Steel Assassin, to my ears. They aren't quite as heavy as either of those bands, but there is a nice, crunchy guitar sound throughout Dust. The tempos are generally of the mid-paced variety and StimulanS cranks out some killer tunes like "Without Control" and "Distance." There are some weaker tracks, but Dust ends on a high note with the excellent, 9-minute instrumental "War," that does a great job of maintaining interest despite the lack of lyrics, and the closer, "Omiski Gusar," a song about 12th and 13th century corsairs who defended the city of Omiš against a Venetian Armada. Sung in the band's native Croatian, it is also Culjak's strongest performance on Dust.

There are a couple of weak aspects, mainly with the songwriting. Most tracks sound as if they are in the same key which hinders the excitement level a bit. Also, the songs all sound similar to one another with the choruses from "Without Control" and "Steel Dragon" being so close, I had to check to make sure I wasn't listening to the same song by accident. Small issues, but issues nonetheless.

Dust is an impressive debut from StimulanS who have put themselves squarely on my radar screen. If they can step up the songwriting a level or two, the next album could be huge.

More about Stimulans...
Review: No Words (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Darko Grubišić (guitar) on January 30, 2011 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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