(In this post, DGR reviews the debut album by The Stranded, which is available on Coroner Records.)
The Stranded are an interesting proposition from a musical standpoint. They’re a new group, formed by the two men responsible for Disarmonia Mundi, an Italian melo-death/groove metal project alongside keyboardist Allesio NeroArgento and pro skateboarder Elliot Sloan. Elliot plays guitar and bass on this record, with the two DM gentlemen (Ettore Rigotti and Claudio Ravinale) taking responsibility for the vocals, drums and guitars. You can pretty much figure out why I jumped onto this group’s bandwagon early on, considering my deep and abiding love for DM’s Isolation Game release. It has also been close to three years since that disc hit.
The story behind how this band formed has to be interesting. I wonder who contacted whom when this band was just beginning, and how Elliot found himself involved with this specific group of guys. They are still a melodeath band, but the addition of a dedicated key player has brought them closer to what most people are familiar with after listening to groups such as Dark Tranquillity. They announced their formation late last year, and for a while it was a pretty slow drip feed of information. However, we now have a full release from The Stranded, and it is interesting, to say the least.
Survivalism Boulevard is an album that ping-pongs back and forth between various styles, while still staying somewhat familiar at its core. The presence of someone new in a full keyboard position does quite a bit to change things up. Many of the hooks on this album are delivered via the keyboard, a couple of them cheesier than all get out and others fitting in perfectly with the music. They produce the strange effect of making this project sound a little less ‘mature’ (probably a poor choice of words, maybe ‘refined’?) than what the guys in The Stranded are involved in usually.