Stimulans - Dust 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-1-11


1. Without control
2. Sacrifice
3. Back to you
4. Distance
5. Dust the road
6. No words
7. Steel dragon
8. Train
9. War
10. Omiski gusar

Without control, creeping into our ears, tingling our spine, and awakening our hungry hearts, Croatia's own Stimulans have finally released their debut CD, reworking songs they have written from demos dating back over 5 years. All their sacrifice has, indeed, paid off for them.

Stimulans is a refreshing band which truly gets my pulse throbbing, and my soul excited. They play traditional metal qualified by the sound of several well-known Eastern European acts like TSA, Turbo, Aria, and even Herald. I also detect a strong German pervasiveness common with the thread of classic Teutonic steel, draggin' riffs and licks from Stormwitch, Rage, Sinner, as well as the obvious 70s and 80s British influences.

With a CD simply entited 'Dust', and songs which equally have terse titles, one would expect some broken English pronunciations. On the contrary, even if front man Mario Čuljak does not have too much vocal range, the lyrics are very well written, and quite evoking. Darko Grubišić performs solos aplenty, sure to sate any 6-string connoisseur.

The CD begins with a painkilling drum crush, initiating "Without control". Then "Sacrifice" honors the Scorpions Uli Jon Roth era with its winding wails, and tattered "Sails of Charon" sharpened, torrential riff gymnastics.

As the dust settles songs like the Pretty Maids meets Crystal Ball "Back to you" and "Distance" keep the momentum giving rise to the black stormy night of "Dust the road", which shines with a Rainbow rising similar to the Joe Lynn Turner era of difficult to characterize, but clearly well played guitar histrionics. In this carnival of chaos I truly am windswept by their durst and devilish qualities.

"No words" is a real standout track with its Hammerfall meets Metal Inquisitor apt tradition. Following this, we reach the crux of the mesh with "Steel dragon", a real winner for these rock stars. Fans of the Rebellion's "Born a rebel" and Hibria's "Steel lord on wheels" will catch the drift as these freewind riders rush on by.

All in all this is a well-written and well-played CD. Honestly, no words I write can express the excellence in musicianship. I recommend it to all with the well-trained ear for talent and quality. Stimulans is a band ready to go the distance.




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