Aradia

Stygian Fair

“Aradia”, is their fourth full length album to date. And it is a very Melodic album, that brings us a mix of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Progressive Rock. And what becomes evident from the very first tones until the end; these guys know how to play music, write songs and arrange them accordingly.
November 27, 2023

All styles of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock are massive in Sweden, plus they have music lessons from an early age at school there. So, you will hear a lot of bands coming from that country. A lot of them are that good that they deservedly acquire a record deal and then bombard us with their music. What I am listening to currently is a band from the Swedish town of Umeå, which likes in the Västerbotten area. They are called STYGIAN FARE, and have been active since 2013. In those ten years their latest endeavour, “Aradia”, is their fourth full length album to date. And it a very Melodic album that brings us a mix of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Progressive Rock. And what becomes evident from the very first tones until the end; these guys know how tom play music, write songs and arrange them accordingly.

I have to admit that vocalist Andreas Stoltz has a very nice and Melodic voice that really suits the music, albeit The question I keep asking myself is whether I feel his voice is just a tad too sweet/cheesy or not. I would have liked him to have given us a few outbursts, but he never does. And that is a pity. The same goes for the music/songs that STYGIAN FARE are dishing out. They are all quite nice, but they all stay within the safest of boundaries, never step out, become adventurous or even outlandish. That for me is a chance missed, as these guys are certainly capable of carrying a tune and making it more exciting where needed.

Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that “Aradia” is a bad album. On the contrary, it is still a pleasure to listen to, but mostly as background music. And even though the songs all are very much different from each other musically, they are also too similar feeling wise. So, although I can enjoy “Aradia” to a point, it is also a fact that I can’t listen to the 41-minute album more than once. If I try, I just miss the spark, the extra ingredient and/or spice to make the music of STYGIAN FARE more exciting. Music is emotion, and I love for my music to excite, elevate and even arouse me where possible. Unfortunately this “Aradia” album doesn’t do that. Like I said, not bad, but not spectacular either.

6 / 10

Had Potential

Songwritting

6

Musicianship

7

Memorability

4

Production

7
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"Aradia" Track-listing:

1. Ancient Lies – 4:02
2. Masters of the Sea – 4:06
3. Aradia – 4:57
4. Tapping of the Vein – 3:43
5. Let It Go – 4:02
6. Panoptikon – 3:44
7. Unto Oblivion – 3:40
8. Grief Collector – 5:04
9. Tainted Dream – 3:22
10. Devil in the Details – 4:16

 

Stygian Fair Lineup:

Andreas Stoltz: Vocals, Guitar
Emil Holmqvist: Guitar
Anders Hedman: Bass
P-O Jonsson: Drums

 

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