It’s hard to look at this review and establish just how far along the band has come, or if they have just continued to stay the same, due to the fact that, up until this release, Fuck The Facts has put out fifty seperate pieces, from demos to CD singles to split CDs. The funny thing is that Stigmata High-Five is only the band’s fifth full-length studio release since they started to release material in 1999. With a rather odd collection of styles, the band clearly has had enough practice at homing their sound to something good, right?
Well, no matter what happened on all of those releases, Stigmata High-Five is one hell of a good, if not somewhat strange, release. While a lot of people look at the whole Noise style to be a bit too much, the band does incorporate some into their music, but it works out very well for the album. The openning track shows that very well as they use some noise sound effects to bridge parts of the song together instead of just bridging it with a guitar riff or some sort of drum solo. But what really stands out is the band’s ability to really write some music that can hold it’s own past a one minute mark as many Grindcore acts pride themselves on. Instead, tracks like “The Wrecking” really stand out with some intense and often technical guitar riffs that range from mid-paced and heavy to as fast as the drums can get on this album, which is pretty fast in it’s self. And the fun thing about it is that all of these types of things will appear in one song, which makes the music all the more chaotic, but yet still flows with some structure.
One thing to be careful of with this release, however, is on “Taken From The Nest”. The track starts off intense as hell, and then goes into a bass drop so intense that it actually caused the audio on the speakers I’m using to completely cut out every time, so I can imagine what it would sound like with a system that has an intense subwoofer system. The rest of the track is just as good and doesn’t have the insane drops, so you’re safe after that. That is really the only downfall to the album, as the rest of Stigmata High-Five is an absolutely intense ride, with “What’s Left Behind” standing out as a superbly heavy track, and “Dead In The Ruins Of Your Own City” makes for a good, laid back track due to it’s slower pace and some of the noise effects thrown into the background once in a while.
With this release, if you put it into your computer, you also get two bonus videos and tracks. As far as the videos go, you get the music video to the track “The Wrecking” which has a rather lower audio quality then the actual video, and is comprised of footage from live performances, and “The Making Of Stigmata High-Five” which is just some random behind the scenes footage from the studio, mostly of the band playing their instruments. There’s nothing all too interesting in that last video except for when you actually see what the drum kit being played on this release looks like. What is confusing about the bonus material is that it includes two bonus tracks, but you have to listen to them on the computer. “Ants” and “Stigmata High-Five” (which you would imagine would be in the regular audio list since it’s the title track) are available as a standard computer audio file for Windows Media Player or whatever player you use, as well as a second version of each in MP3 format, which again makes you wonder why they even did this in the first place. Well, “Ants” is not all that great a track since it’s just an instrumental track composed of guitars and noise, and the same goes with “Stigmata High-Five”, so that answers that question as to why these were left off the main track list.
Stigmata High-Five is one hell of an intense CD from start to finish, with only four bass drops that seem to really cause any problems with the album, and with a good sound system, that’s not a problem at all, but rather one of the more awesome aspects about the CD. Fuck The Facts have a blend of music and style going that one would expect to not work out, but it does. Even though the CD is very short, it does contain some bonus material which, while isn’t all that great, is nice to have accompanying the release at least at no additional charge. If you haven’t heard this band before, it’s about time you pick this one up.