While there are a few bands called Stigmata (or S.T.I.G.M.A.T.A.), only one comes from Sri Lanka – another country we’re visiting for the first time… and another that I wish I’d investigated before I travelled there some years ago to see what the music scene was like!
Stigmata have been going for fifteen years now, plying their metallic trade from capital city Colombo. Mixing a traditional heavy metal sound with unpredictable structure and a dash of traditional music, they’ve released a handful of albums. The most recent of these, The Ascetic Paradox, was released late in 2015.
They genuinely have a unique sound, mainly due to the rhythm changes and bass-drum led attack. Indeed, opener “Our Beautiful Decay” take a minute or so to settle on the ears with the seemingly conflicting rhythms at first dragging attention away from each other. Once it gets going, though, it’s some pretty heavy stuff. Hard rock meets metal with a thumping backdrop.
“An Idle Mind Is The Devil’s Workshop” is a little more traditional in sound, though still manages to mix it up somewhat. The tempo by the end is neck-breaking, but pay attention and there are some pretty obvious nods to ethnic instrumentation kicking about in the background as well.
For something a little different from a country you’ve probably never connected with metal before, Stigmata are well worth checking out.