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Stigma: Solitude 24/7
Progressive Rock/Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

I had never heard of Norwegian band Stigma util their latest work dropped in my mailbox several weeks ago. Stigma is, essentially and fundamentally, Stig Rune Robertson who handles almost everything: lyrics, arrangements, guitars, drums and programming. He is helped by others, but he is the principal musician. Stigma, I gather, is relatively unknown outside their native country or region. Robertson's music doesn't exactly fit current trends in Scandi music. Stigma is not death or black metal or revitalized glam/punk hair rock/metal or goth metal or neo-80's melodic rock. Stigma preforms a progressive rock and metal driven by strong guitars, subtle keyboards, and often, sublime vocal arrangements. Frankly, Stigma is a band unique unto themselves compare to their regional compatriots. I found 'Solitude 24/7' interesting and enjoyable.

'Solidtude 24/7' is their fifth release and brings to conclusion the music found on their first release. 'Solitude.' The album is thematic exploring the world of a bachleor through his week. The songs are made up of days of the week with segues in between. The segues can be brief or run to three minutes in length. They have varied musical styles: sometimes simply acoutsic work, then guitar and keyboards, or chruch-like keyboards with choral vocals like 'Thursday.' The best work on the album is when Mr. Robertson freely expresses himself on guitar. This musician is no slouch. Being a lead guitar fan, I was duly impressed with 'Inside Of Me,' 'Remember,' a heavier arrangement,' and 'Look Through My Eye, Part Two,' an almost completely instrumental where Robertson is simply brilliant.

Stigma's 'Solitude 24/7' is a fine and creative work of progressive rock and metal. The production is a bit flat, but the music is terrific. Mr. Robertson and his friends demand more recognition. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Solitude 24/7.' Find it and buy it: very recommended!   - Craig Hartranft


In Short

Stigma's 'Solitude 24/7' is a fine and creative work of progressive rock and metal. The production is a bit flat, but the music is terrific. Mr. Robertson and his friends demand more recognition. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Solitude 24/7.'

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