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Blood Scent

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Album Review

Buffalo, NY-based heavy metal quartet STEMM presents a generic representation of contemporary metal on its self-released album Blood Scent. Dan Nelligan's drumming shows a fondness for pummeling double-bass drums; Steve Crowl's bass throbs along; guitarist Alex Scouten strums typical metal riffs; and singer Joe "Jodah" Cafarella alternately howls and sings lyrics in a gruff voice with the usual imagery — fire, blood, weaponry — in the usual mood: rage. "As Real as It Gets" threads in President George W. Bush's remarks at Ground Zero ("I can hear you"), which suggests that the song is about a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though the lyrics aren't that specific. A cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Wish" succeeds in demonstrating that Trent Reznor is a better songwriter than the members of STEMM, and prefaces the obligatory power ballad "Beneath My Skin" (which is repeated in an acoustic version as a hidden track after the closer, "Casualty for Prayer"). That's about as far as the band is willing to stray from the heavy metal formula, which means it may appeal to a core audience, especially fans recruited by concert appearances, but not beyond that.


Formed: 1998 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Uniting the efforts of vocalist Louis Penque, Joe Cafarella (guitar, vocals), Rich Spalla (guitar), Russ Martin (bass), and drummer Jimi Penque -- all of whom have previous band experience -- Stemm delivers alternative metal with a combination of hip-hop and other non-mainstream styles. Formed in Buffalo in 1998, Stemm enjoyed success within the local music scene, even playing their first show with Sevendust. Featured on several compilation discs and on various independently released motion pictures,...
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Blood Scent, Stemm
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