Artist: Blue Stahli
Release: Blue Stahli
Review Date: 31/05/11
Genre: Industrial Rock
Label: FIXT Music
Reviewer: Steve Fearon
The long awaited debut of Blue Stahli has arrived, and it features 10 tracks of intense and intriguing Electronic rock music.
Originally known for his work as the touring partner for Klayton's Celldweller project, Bret Autrey, aka Blue Stahli, released a collection of various musical endeavours, and whilst there was much to be enjoyed, it was more of a Frankenstein's monster of different ideas than a coherent artistic piece as most of these tracks were intended for soundtrack work.
However, with the self titled debut now available, it feels like we finally have the release that truly represents what 'Blue Stahli' is all about, and that is blistering drum work, adrenalin pumping riff-age and a fiercely passionate vocal style.
One of the first things I noticed when listening to this album, was the similarity in production and approach to Celldweller, which shouldn't be a surprise bearing in mind that Klayton produced this record, and that the two work very closely with each other, overlapping on both of their projects.
However, there are some distinct differences between the two artists, most noticeably that Blue Stahli has a more aggressive approach in general, engendering an almost Manson-esque vibe at times, and this paired with a much stronger emphasis on guitar work than is usual in Celldweller tracks, helps Blue Stahli to carve its own path to some degree at least.
The first 3 tracks are all stand out tracks, and it is the strength of tracks such as 'Ultranumb', 'Scrape' and 'Anti-you' that show just how much potential this project has.
The production is top class, as you would expect from any project involving Klayton, and the nature of the music that Blue Stahli creates means that there is constant flux, with ideas merging into each other seamlessly.
Bret's vocals are superb, with him switching between powerful aggression, and saccharine effortlessly, giving a fantastic performance throughout.
The song-writing is generally very strong, with catchy hooks, powerful riff-age, and a good mixture of screaming and melodic vocals.
All of this means you get a fairly varied mixture of songs, without ever really deviating too far from the Blue Stahli archetype.
The soundtrack element to Blue Stahli is always evident, with tracks tailor made for the next Sci Fi blockbuster, and given the impressive track record of TV/Movie airplay that has been achieved so far, it is likely to continue that way.
In terms of negatives, The similarities to Celldweller will help and hinder Blue Stahli...certainly, if you enjoy Celldweller, you will enjoy Blue Stahli...however there isn't enough between them to make it likely for someone who isn't keen on Celldweller to find something to like about Blue Stahli neccesarily.
However, the strength of this record is obvious, and if you enjoy your Rock music with a large dose of Electro-Industrial flavouring, you should definitely pick this album up!