“Our masterplan was to do it differently and patiently, to not be a copy. We wanted to do things by ourselves, by our instinct, and focus on the music above all. Just because everyone was going a way or another doesn’t mean we had to follow the same path.” (Eliott Williame, Stengah)
With the world in chaos, exhilarating new music has become more important than ever before. As a result, the emergence of French tech-metal mavericks STENGAH could hardly be better timed. One of the most exciting new bands on the planet, the French quintet have spent the last few years in a state of perpetual evolution, armed with some of the most visceral and forward-thinking riffs and refrains in recent memory. Now, the band are ready to introduce themselves to the world.
Founded by drummer Eliott Williame in 2013, Stengah have the sound, the smarts and the ambition to push heavy music ever further into the future. After years of steady evolution and meticulous attention to detail, the band – completed by bassist Benoit Creteur, lead guitarist Maxime Delassus, rhythm guitarist Alex Orta and powerhouse frontman Nicolas Queste – have honed their sound to a state of cutting-edge perfection, as showcased on their formidable, forthcoming debut album Soma/Sema. With shades of everything from crunchy post-djent muscularity to scorched-earth post-metal dramatics, these young virtuosos are carving their own unique path to metal glory. Both thrillingly primal and ferociously intelligent, this is music that aspires to enlighten and brutalise in equal measure.
“I write the songs and the lyrics through my own personality. I lead the band to my version of an artistic direction based on a kind of colourful metal, well fed by every Jazz, Progressive Rock and a slew of groovy music we love. Being a drummer, the guitar riffs come out differently, as well as the musical arrangements and the vocals. We like to call our sound organic, as we put our guts into everything we do. We wanted it to be pure, alive.”
From the crushing riff-collage of opener “Weavering” and the lurching, thuggish groove- metal warzone of “Swoon” to the warped, machine-gun sludge of “Blank Masses Inheritance”, Soma/Sema crackles with the unmistakable electricity of a band hitting their stride at full pelt. Guaranteed to incite wild, flailing moshpits while simultaneously scratching that progressive itch for more reserved listeners, it’s an album that fights to connect; with riffs that speak of unstoppable momentum and insidious hooks that will penetrate your heart and your head.
“The music is about (re)connecting with yourself,” says Eliott. “It’s about people, their fears, their faiths and their philosophies. How sometimes those things can guide them, and how sometimes they can blind them. It asks, with no judgement, about how odd and how strange the social and emotional behaviours of human beings are. It’s all about the power to believe, in creativity, and in consciousness.”
There is a gleaming, state-of-the-art vibe to Stengah’s debut album, but this is also music performed by a living, breathing, kicking and screaming metal band. With a shared chemistry that makes every polyrhythmic detour and atmospheric side-step lethall effective and irresistible, the Frenchmen’s burgeoning status as a killer live band seems likely to soar after the release of Soma/Sema. These songs absolutely demand to be played live and loud.
“Our music is technical but fun to play!” says Eliott. “People often become surprisingly transfixed by our energy, especially when they haven’t seen us before. We love being on stage, we are truly passionate and that is what you see and feel during our live performances, from the first to the last song. But it’s not just about us, it’s also about the audience and the other bands. We’re not here to be competitive or individual, but to share something precious. However, you will get a huge wall of massive sound right in your face!”
The history of metal is littered with the burnt-out shells of bands that lacked the vision and the vivacity to make things happen. For Stengah, the sheer power and fury of their music drives them forward. Meanwhile, the sheer quality and ingenuity of Soma/Sema looks certain to propel the band swiftly up the heavy music ladder and into the spotlight. Newly signed to Mascot Label Group, they’re just getting started and the sky’s the limit!
“As we learn every day, our music grows by itself,” Eliott concludes. “The more we explore it, the more mature it becomes. We definitely want to take our chances as a band, connect with a large audience and many other bands. Everything is possible as long as we give it a shot!”
No shows booked at the moment.