Seeing as my last couple of reviews have been power metal reviews (which I have NOT got a problem with. In fact, I love power metal) it was nice to review something of a different genre of rock, and Social Stain lived up to the challenge. For a start, I love the name of the band as it reminds me of many people I have met during my life who could be referred to as social stains but that’s another story! (and we don’t need to go into that here!)
Social Stain are a Finnish band, formed in Lahti in late 2014 by bassist Toni Broman (Damngod, ex-Before The Dawn) who needed an outlet for his hard rock songs and he soon hooked up with Teemu Kokkonen(vocals, ex-Disformed), Antti Kokkonen (guitar, Profane Omen) and Mika Tanttu (drums, Kill the Romance) to form the four-piece they are today.
Social Stain (the album) is their debut recording, released on the Social Stain label on 13th January 2017 and features a unique recipe of 90’s influenced hard rock with a touch of metal, a punky no-nonsense attitude and all-round solid musicianship.
Opening with a guitar solo on “Breakout” (showing this is a band who don’t conform to the normal rules!) the beginning of the album is pure old fashioned ballsy heavy rock and reminisces of the Load-era from Metallica and this carries onto the next track “Dead Man Talking”, while “Time to Bleed” and “Possessed” are very much influenced by Therapy?
But this doesn’t mean they are a two trick pony…oh no! With obvious influences including the likes of AC/DC, Alice in Chains and Guns n Roses as well as the aforementioned Metallica and Therapy? this band can seemingly change their sound with each and every track, proving just what a talented bunch these guys really are.
The best track on the album is “Walls” which was, funnily enough, the first track I heard (for some reason the stereo in my car decided to play that one first!) and what a track. If there was a song that had to sum this band up, then “Walls” would be the one to do it; punky, hard rock with oodles of attitude!
But what surprised me the most about this album was the track “At Peace”. With most of the album having a punchy, in your face attitude, five tracks from the end they decide to throw in a ballad! Yes, a ballad! This shocked me somewhat the first time I heard it as I wasn’t expecting anything like this to be on this album, some people might even think it doesn’t belong on there. BUT, they do it well, showing yet again, their diversity and talent.
With memorable hooks, heavy riffs and unforgettable choruses, this album is 12 tracks of pure, high-octane rock and roll. Social Stain have their roots firmly set in the 90’s era of hard rock and they don’t even try to deviate from this. They are not a revolutionary band, they will not try to steer you to a different genre of rock/metal you have never heard before and they certainly won’t be breaking any new ground with this album.
BUT, what you do get is 48-ish minutes of loud, old-fashioned rock and roll and I, for one, love it!!
When’s the next one out guys??
2. Dead Man Talking
3. Red Star Rising
4. Good Old Days
5. Joke’s on You
6. (Ain’t Got) Time to Bleed
8. At Peace
9. The Unknown
11. Social Stain
Toni Broman – Bass
Teemu Kokkonen – Vocals
Antti Kokkonen – Guitar
Mika Tanttu – Drums
Originally posted on Ever Metal
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith, The Metal Asylum and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.