Mord’A’Stigmata are an avant-garde rock band from Poland and this is their sixth album.
Dreams of Quiet Places was a highlight of 2019 for me, so it’s with great anticipation that I turned to Like Ants and Snakes. I also thoroughly enjoyed 2013’s Ansia and 2017’s Hope, so Mord’A’Stigmata are a band with a great track record of strong album. Has their new one lived up to my lofty expectations?
Yes and no. No, because Like Ants and Snakes is a very different album to the band’s last one, (you’ll notice the avant-garde rock tag above instead of a black metal one), and yes, because it’s always a pleasure to hear a band doing what they love, not what’s expected of them.
Mord’A’Stigmata’s unconventional brand of music has undergone a transformation on Like Ants and Snakes. There’s no real black metal here, post- or otherwise, instead, we get something quite different. This is a an avant-garde, experimental amalgamation of various different influences that all come together under the very capable guidance of this inventive act. This new record takes the band’s style of the past and fashions it into something new. Taking in elements of cold wave, post-punk, jazz, Gothic, and industrial, Like Ants and Snakes is a new chapter for the band.
Mord’A’Stigmata know how to craft music that’s full of mystery and intrigue, and they craft absorbing atmosphere with ease. This record is simultaneously relaxed and tense, which is no easy sound to achieve. It almost sounds like a more popular, commercial genre has been corrupted and warped by a particular form of darkness to give birth to these easy-listening, yet menacing and moody songs.
Expressive and bold, Like Ants and Snakes is a statement of intent from Mord’A’Stigmata that they operate firmly on their own terms, and do so with commanding presence. Like Ants and Snakes may not be what you were expecting, (I certainly wasn’t), but it is worth taking the time to explore.
A recommended listen.