Poison The Well, Coheed and Cambria
Stolas' debut , Living Creatures is a middle-of-the-road album that seems to go nowhere. They seem to balance a fine line between hardcore and progressive rock as each track dives in and out between the two styles. The vocals are the typical dual vocal style where the singer is heavy and gut-wrenching and on the turn of a dime, melodic and clean, yup, we’ve hear it before (Poison the Well, Inhale Exhale). There are times when Stolas have some really impressive progressive jams and other times they sound too predictable. It’s kind of a mixed bag here, so we decided to carry on because they were interesting enough to keep them in our rotation.
Opening the album is "Thief & The Hourglass," it’s in your face, angst vocals start had us thinking, ok, not bad, but nothing special. At 2:30 into the song, it seamlessly transitions into more progressive territory, reminiscent to Animals Are Leaders style music; and this is where they shine. On the songs "Circuit Theory" and "Destroyer" and "Panic," they throw down some intelligent progressive arrangements, but reverting back to the hardcore element turns us off. In fact, beyond these three songs, we felt this way for every song, our favorite parts is when they jam and harmonize; showing that there is a lot of talent here.
We’re not delving too deep into this one as Living Creatures is a so-so debut from Stolas. We found that the hardcore elements are not unique as they tend to blend in and get lost with other bands in the genre. If they can harness their progressive side and have more direction, perhaps they will rise to form a bit and make some noise. - 3/26/2014
Standout Tracks: Captured Light