Stormy Atmosphere is a band that surprised me in more ways than one: First off, the artwork depicting their newest release, Pent Letters, caused me to assume that I would be dealing with either a Power or a Gothic Metal release. I was wrong. Secondly, the moment I learned that the quintet actually plays their own style of Progressive Metal, I thought that it would be too far beyond my comfort zone for me to find it enjoyable. I was mistaken. And thirdly, I as just downright surprised when I learned that the band is of Israeli descent – For no other reason than it is the first time that I have had the chance to review a band from that particular country. Now that my assumptions have been thoroughly decimated, I can inform you that in the case of Stormy Atmosphere, their Progressive sound is based heavily upon very theatrical, almost Gothic sounds and melodies (something to with I can relate and definitely enjoy). They are not nearly as dedicated to the whole theatrical aspect as bands such as Le Village Noir, but you still get the feeling at times that you are listening to the soundtrack of some movie just beyond your reach. Instrumental tracks such as ”The Way Home” are exceptionally good at exploiting this fact, but really, all the tracks carry aspects and variations of this near-movie theme. And I must admit, it grew on me quickly. As if to utilize the whole theatrical aspect to its fullest, Stormy Atmosphere also makes exquisite use of the fact that they have two vocalists – One male and one female; A perfect blend for duets, of which there are plenty. And just to top it all off, Pent Letters has a running total of an impressive one hour and eleven minutes. All in all not bad for the bands second release. I suppose hardcore Progressive Metal fans going into this album expecting a lot of long, impressive solos might be a bit disappointed: They are present, but in a far less degree than I for one am used to. Instead, there are a lot of other, different instruments, solos, rhythms and melodies present, all of them working together around a strong coherent, gothic feel – But done so progressively. The band is quite unlike any other Progressive Metal band that I have come across (which is probably why I like them as much as I do – But I digress). They have mastered creating their own unique, and highly memorable, sound, and they have done so while still making it an experience one can easily enjoy. It should be noted, however, that despite the strong dramatical feel present throughout Pent Letters, it is not to be mistaken for a concept album: You can easily listen to the tracks out of context, and each track is very good in its own right. If I were to recommend one particular song over the others, I would probably choose ”The Menippeah” due to the highly epic feel that it also adds to the album (probably due to the guest appearance from the lead singer from Evergrey).
Israeli Stormy Atmosphere began their life back in 2002 and since then they choose to play Progressive Metal which in this case was un-disputed good decision for the band. With a sound very much like that of Dream Theater and Evergrey, Stormy Atmosphere’s second full-length album shows a great deal of maturity. “Pent Letters” is a melodic prog metal lover’s dream. Due to the music genre the band doesn’t avoid of heavy use of keyboards and that makes this album very enjoyable and impressive. The keys and guitars blend into a layered sound that really works well. The vocals are well done. Teddy Shvets has a strong and appealing voice and in resonance with Dina Shulman soprano, it sounds shiny and inimitably. The lyrics are in keeping with what one expects from a progressive metal band. The songs are more wordy than the fluff that passes for music on most radio stations. Definitely there is variation play on this album that makes it so appealing. There is a lot of energy in these songs and the technicality of the play comes out well. The songs roll and crunch and create a great atmosphere, a very pleasant listening experience. The songs all clock in at over seventy minutes with the wonderful, epic fourteen minute bonus track “Time” topping the list. There is a lot of music packed into the songs and fans of the melodic progressive metal that has a real edge to it are going really enjoy this album.
Oh, this is such a fabulous piece of work I couldn’t believe my ears, the band’s name to be honest lead me nowhere, and it actually sounded quite Gothic Metal citch, but I’m glad these Israel based musicians proved me wrong. Stormy Armosphere’s second full-length album is not an easy listening, not by far, but on the contrary, it requires loads of spins before developing itself entirely to the listener, and I don’t mean those superficial, ambient auditions, but rather the “study” ones, preferably with the booklet in the listener’s hands to read the lyrics. The album is a concept story about a man who gets jailed for an unknown reason (my guess is that it’s all about a communist times inprisomnemnt), about his time in jail, his feelings and happenings, and the music helps a lot in developing the story, it’s astonishly accurate and complex, and although I wouldn’t be able to name any hit on this album (probably its only fault), I feel it’s almost a masterpiece. As said, the only fault I could find was the absence of an easy, hit-ish song, something to stick to the listener’s mind after the audition, but instead, like me, he/she will probably remember the complexity of the compositions, and the overall story behind it all. One track, The Menippeah, features the guest appearance of Tom Englund from Evergrey. The label names a few bands as hints for Stormy Atmosphere’s music: Dream Theater, Nightwish, Symphony X, Evergrey, and others, but it’s a long shot, they have their own thing here, really worth your time if you’re looking for a Gothic-like melodic Progressive Metal album to be listened like you’re reading a book (not sure how much sense this makes, but that’s how I feel).
Scream Magazine #202
Hva i helsike er dette for noe? Jeg blir nesten redd! Progressiv symfonisk metal – det mestrer ikke dette israelske bandet. Den bisarre vokalen far meg til a skjelve i gymsokkene – sa darlig er den. Musikken er bedre, men totalen henger dessverre ikke pa greip.
На своем втором альбоме израильские металлисты решили развернуться по-настоящему и показать всему миру, что есть еще ноты в партитурах! Новая работа вновь демонстрирует нескромный потенциал груп-пы и талант музыкантов, но с большим раз-махом. «Pent Letters» – это концептуальная история, рассказывающая о всевозможных перипетиях человеческой судьбы. Матери-ал, как и прежде, весьма артистичный и композиционно непростой, но адекватно ло-жащийся на слух в противовес многим пере-груженным нотами и прочими «наворотами» произведениями иных лидеров жанра. По-скольку основным автором является кла-вишник Эдди Краков, то стоит ли сомне-ваться в активном использовании всевоз-можных клавишных и симфонических аран-жировок? Не стоит, однако все аранжировки расположены строго на своих местах, а его инструмент не пытается захватить лидер-ство, как, например, у Ингви Малмстина или Рика Уэйкмана. Все сбалансировано. Ком-плексность и творческий подход иногда наводят на сходство с всевозможными ме-талл-операми – не исключено, но Stormy At-mosphere справились своими усилиями. Во многом «оперность» достигается благодаря равномерному использованию мужского и женского вокала, в партиях которого слышны претензии на нечто действительно возвы-шенное. Сам альбом по духу и звуку очень напоминает прогрессив-металлические ра-боты конца 90-х и начала 00-х, и явно вдох-новлен Yes, IQ и Flower Kings, но не без соб-ственного творческого взгляда. Вроде бы пе-ред нами типичный и довольно стереотип-ный арт-рок-релиз, но несмотря на ломаные размеры и ритмические структуры, неожи-данные и странные аранжировки, а также композиционную насыщенность, «Pent Let-ters» очень интересная и привлекательная работа, которую приятно слушать.
Hlavné zaťa enie svojej tvorby si skupina dala do názvu akosi prezrievavo. Zjavne mali títo hudobníci jasno u v roku 2002, na kedy sa datuje oficiálny vznik, akej t v o r b e s a c h c ú v e n o v a ť . Aktuálny album „Perl Letters“ je nasledovníkom debutu „ColorBlind“. Opäť tu máme skupina, , ktorá nosnú časť svojej produkcie zakladá na hudobnom experimentovaní. Izraelské kvinteto mieša vo svojej tvorbe prvky symfonického a prog metalu. Možno budem povrchný, ale predstavte si kombináciu NIGHTWISCH a povedzme DREAM THEATER. To že má skupina potenciál beriem, ale miestami som začínal pri počúvaní tohto vyše hodinového eposu “vypínať”. Pre mňa je to taký priemer v rámci žánru.
I was honestly rather unsure about delwing into this one. The song Afterlight, which opens the 71 minutes(!) long album, at first appears to be rather pretentious female-fronted epic rubbish meeting rock opera. Eventually however, the Israeli quintet appears to have a flair for melodies and progressive structures. They call their music “Progressive Art Metal”, which I don’t see any reason to bicker about.
The album is based on a somewhat unusual concept, where the protagonist is imprisoned and bids his time reading books. Pent Letters is built on classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Stranger in a Strange Land, Faust, Dostojevskijs’ Crime and Punishment, etcetera.
The music has a dramatic and theatrical flair that is enhanced by gothic and symphonic elements and a dash of circus, and Ayreon, amongst other things.
71 minutes is definitely in excess, but Stormy Atmosphere still gets away with it relatively good. It should also be said that the last 14 minutes consists of the bonus song Time, an elaborate medley. The music will probably appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, Meat Loaf and/or Nightwish etc. more than those who share my fairly rawer taste, but for the target audience or those having an open mind, this is certainly a release that should be checked closely.
See the video for Historical Adventure, and the lyric-videos to The Menippeah (with Tom Englund of Evergrey fame) and Gothic Dread. The two latter can also hear below, along with Outcome.
Fünf Jahre lang war dieses zweite Album von STORMY ATMOSPHERE in der Mache, was man an der angestrebten Verschmelzung der Songs zu einem Gesamtwerk erkennt. Dies zieht allerdings nach sich, dass “Pent Letters” eine recht sperrige, überladene Angelegenheit geworden ist: symphonischer Metal, Prog und 1990er-Gotenkram wabern mit übertriebener und somit unglaubwürdiger Dramatik durch die Boxen, wobei sich an der handwerklichen Umsetzung nichts bemängeln lässt, bloß wirken die Stücken so gekonnt wie blutarm. Das Quintett erzählt die Geschichte eines anscheinend zu Unrecht Inhaftierten und spannt zwischendurch Evergreys Tom Englund hinterm Mikro ein, der Hauptstimme Teddy Shvets dann auch tatsächlich die Show stiehlt. Die Israelis würden ihr Pathos gerne ebenso authentisch und kompositorisch klug in ihre Songs einbetten wie die Schweden, scheitern aber an ihren eigenen zu hohen Ansprüchen. “Pent Letters” ist virtuoser Schönklang (mehr als solide Produktion) ohne Nachthall (wo sind die zwingenden Melodien in all dem Gedudel und Trällern?) und verfügt in Form des operettenhafte Organs von Sängerin Dina Shulman über einen eklatanten Nerv-Faktor.
ROCK HARD MAGAZINE #31
Ať si kdo chce, co chce, říká, Izrael je pořád ještě hodně exotická destinace. Vím, že odtud pochází skvělí ORPHANED LAND, SALEM, MELECHESH, ARALLU … možná ještě pár dalších, na které si teď nevzpomenu, ale jinak prázdnota. Proto každá další vlaštovka na metalovém poli je vítaná. STORMY ATMOSPHERE vznikli již v roce 2002, ale doposud jsem neměl tu čest. Promo materiály hlásaly samou chválu a superlativy, tak se pojďme na tento orientální zázrak podívat blíže. A je to tady!!!! Ať se snažím sebevíc, je jasné, že „já“ a STORMY ATHOSPHERE kamarádi nebudeme. „Pent Letters“ je progresivní metalové album, mísící v sobě prvky rocku, elektroniky i vážné hudby, to by až takový kámen úrazu nebyl, ale vokály obou protagonistů Teddy Shvetz a Dina Shulman mě doslova „zabíjí“. Hlavně Dina, ty její výšky (ala Tajemný hrad v Karpatech) a vibrato, nemůžu nějak rozdýchat, strašně mě ruší. Jedno se této partě nedá upřít a to je odvaha jít s kůží na trh, tento materiál opravdu vyžaduje notnou dávku trpělivosti a tolerantnosti. Nebudu tuto nahrávku hodnotit, nerad bych ji uškodil jen proto, že mi nesedla. Snad příště.
Well, again a band that uses as source of inspiration a kind of musical experimentalism. Yes, the Israeli quintet STORMY ATMOSPHERE is really creative, mixing influences from Prog Metal along with Symphonic Metal ones on their new album, “Pent Letters”.
Yes, sometimes we could feel as DREAM THEATER and NIGHTWISH in their best moments were mixed in a great cauldron, putting some Progressive Rock, extreme Metal influences and some little touches of Pop music, and then STORMY ATMOSPHERE arose from the boiling mass. And it’s very, very good. The technical level is high on the entire album, but is something that arises very spontaneously, isn’t something the band was forced to do.
The sound quality is OK, being a bit more cleaner than heavy, but this is the correct balance their music needs to exist, due their technical level on each song. But don’t be disturbed: there’s a good amount of weight on their songs. And some invited musicians gave some contributions to their songs, as Shaked Furman (who played the drums on entire album), Tom Englund who sang on “The Manippeah” and Tom Gefen who made some additional vocals on “Gothic Dread”.
Besides they have 15 songs on the album, two are little instrumentals (“The Way Home” and “While”), and the greater part of them during more or less five or six minutes, so the album is fascinating in some points. I dare to name “First Day” (with the fine guitars and very good male voices, along with great orchestrations from keyboards), the tender “First Year” (a very good work from male and female vocals), and from the giant song “Time” (14 minutes of a musical delirium made by great bass and drums work, along with good tempos changes. It’s like watch something on a theater, full of different moments).
Very good album indeed, but I can see that the band really can do better than we hear here.
Marcos “Big Daddy” Garcia
Lords Of Metal
At the moment this review is written, rain is smashing against the windows and all things botanic are bending under a harsh wind. The writing of a review of a band called Stormy Atmosphere could obviously not have been done at a better time. This progressive group for Israel managed to cast a little sunlight into my day after all. For even though the group handles some pretty heavy topics, the music has a feel-good atmosphere over it.
Musical complexity is not a thing lacking here, but since you are reading this, you have clicked on an album in the prog/sympho genre so you are probably not repelled by this. Still, this is an album that should really fit your personal taste. The first reason for this, are the many electro-effects which are first introduced on opener ‘Afterlight’, after a pedantic speech. But the sweet voices by female singer Dina and male singer Teddy suck you right into a landscape of sound and music. Floating on a sea of piano and electro-effects, you have no choice but to let yourself float along a brisk fantasy brought together on a seventy minute record called ‘Pent Letters’. On ‘The Menippeah’ Tom Englund (Evergrey) sings a bit. A welcome variety, for eventually, especially Dina’s voice is getting on my nerves. Her voice flutters around a lot and she sings with many vocal decorations, which is not my thing. Lyrically, the band digs deep. Take for example ‘Gothic Dread’, which appears like a ballad at first, but a look at the lyrics removes the romance effectively. The album closes with a grand epos, the fifteen minute long ‘Time’. Only when the CD has finished you suddenly notice that 70 minutes have passed you by.
Stormy Atmosphere is a very talented band composing great music that manages to capture you completely. Yet occasionally I had an urge to pull out my hair because of the vocals, something that has always made me keep my distance from their fellow countrymen Orphaned Land. Do judge for yourself! Meanwhile, despite my reservations, I dare to give this high score to this work of art.
Crown of Viserys
Taking literature works and transforming them into a cohesive concept album, Stormy Atmosphere‘s second release is a very interesting prog rock disc. They seem to be mixing in elements of gothic rock, 80’s arena rock, and prog together, and I’m liking what I’m hearing. Both male and female vocals are presented, with Dina Shulman seeming to take a little bit more of the lead vocals, splitting them with Teddy Shvets like 52/48.
The piano is wonderfully mixed with heavy guitars and drums, vocals are soaring and extremely emotive, and the bass is full of wonderful snaps and pops.
Basically if you’re into stuff like Ayreon, Rush, The Gathering, and even Edmonton locals Samandriel, liking Stormy Atmosphere is probably a good bet.
Israeli Progressive Art Metal band Stormy Atmosphere was formed in 2002. The music of band is a blend of Rock, Metal, Classical music, Electronics and more. The musicians call their own style as Progressive Art.
6 Years after the last release, last September Stormy Atmosphere released another masterpiece.
The first song, “Afterlight” , Starts with a quotation, and then evolves into the well known tone of the Progressive Metal that Stormy Atmosphere make so good. Another song that really caught me was “Science Fiction”. The band continued their line of work and released a marvelous album named “Pent Letters”. Aye, this is a great album, which can be easily considered as a continues mix of their previous work, “Colorblind” (Which you can find here).
This album got signed earlier this year into the label “Scrap Metal Records”, and lately, Stormy Atmosphere performed at MELODIC ALLIANCE FESTIVAL alogside ELVENKING, DESERT, WINTERVERGE and other local support bands.
Overally, this is another fine release, but the thing that I’m most unhappy about, is the fact that it took them 6 years, and I’d love to hear more of them soon!
Battle Helm Magazine
I gotta admit that the name alone really triggers me to wanting to listen to this album. I have high hopes that this is gonna be a rad trip down some really cool metal avenues. How not with a name like that. It makes me think of American storm movies like Twister and A Perfect Storm. It is not often you get to heart an Israeli metal band. Not that it is anything special other than the fact that the metal world grows. This is progressive metal but not in a Dream Theater way. More like the way King Diamond builds his albums. There is a theatric feel to this. A dramatic touch. Like it tells a story. I had no idea what to expect from this but it turned out really cool.
That Drummer Guy
99 place at “THAT DRUMMER GUY’S” top 100 albums of 2015!
Much like I talked about with Orpheus Blade in my Honorable Mentions list, Stormy Atmosphere proves once again that Israel is a hot bed for Progressive Metal. while the female operatic vocals will definitely not be up everyone’s alley, if you can get past it or find a way to enjoy it, it makes the experience very enjoyable. The music behind the album is absolutely stellar and the male vocals might be my favorite part of the album. I also thoroughly enjoy that the bass (provided by Max Mann) is actually audible and extremely well played. If you can enjoy a band like Orphaned Land with the type of Israeli style Progressive Metal, this should be more than up your alley.
I present the band under the name of STORMY ATMOSPHERE and their fifteen-tracks album “Pent Letters”. The band of five members performed their songs in two voices, male and female. If I mean the vocals that they not always work well with themselves. Sometimes I have the feeling that, instead to be complement, that they interfere themselves, thus it affects for their quality. Especially the female vocals, stylized to opera, are not always sounds clear and even they are out of tune. Much better is in the case of the male vocals, but this depends largely on the sound. All is matter of taste and preference. Right. Each band creating a musical idea wants to surprise the listener and they want to be good in their creativity. A recipient decides whether he feels the music it or not. I more like the male’s vocals in this band – melodic with a claw, which it sounds better and more interesting for me. But without undue criticism for the female vocalist that sounds decent, and when she sings in a lower, softer tones then she creates a beautiful background music. However, I have taste, which is based on such vocalists as Tarja Turunen and the female singing from the album don’t make impress on me. But still I emphasize that it is only a matter of taste. But Dina should do some work for the purity of voice.
The band sounds instrumental really interesting, extremely ingenious. They have the interesting introductions to songs that sound like a movie, the strange sounds in the background as the announcement of something. Distorted guitars with extended virtuoso solos are encouraging and it really presents a high level of creativity. Extensive are also important parts made on the keyboard, which are another confirmation that musicians are technically distinctive. They have really good taste of music.
The compositions of songs are kept in the dark atmosphere with the grotesque element like from the movies of Tim Burton. The tracks are very complex and it causes the impression that we are not able to encompass all the themes and musical motives at first listen. To create such an interesting material, in addition to regular members of the team they invited many additional vocalists,like Tom S. Englund from EVERGREY, who lent his voice in the song “The Menippeah.”
To sum the creativity of the band, it is recommendable team with one fault that it should be mend, and it is the feminine vocals. And then they will conquer the hearts of the audience by following the next interesting musical works, because I think they have more to offer.
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