Stilllife is a four-man prog metal act hailing from Michigan, and Requiem is their debut effort. Essentially a "band of brothers", so to speak, three out of Stilllife's four members are all part of the Charbonneau family. The only unrelated band member is guitarist Joe Melin. Requiem, their self-released debut from 2010, is ultimately a promising beginning, but it's still clear the band has a few issues to work out before taking the prog metal world by storm.
Stilllife plays a style of progressive metal with plenty of ventures into traditional heavy metal/power metal territory. I'm often reminded of acts like Fates Warning, Iron Maiden, Queensr˙che, Judas Priest, and Iced Earth. The lyrics are also (for the most part) focused around the harmful effects and corruption of organized religions. Though both Stilllife's influences and their lyrical topics are something that greatly appeals to me, Requiem doesn't quite live up to my expectations. Right from the get-go, it's clear that this isn't the most professional product out there - the production is of demo-quality, the mix is uneven, and Stilllife is still a group of amateurs in regard to musicianship. It's clear that these guys have plenty of potential, but it's not fully lived up to on Requiem. A few more practice sessions and a professional production may have done this band miracles.
Although it may sound like this album is all bad, that's far from the truth. The compositions are interesting enough and the band does possess a powerful sound - I'm just not sure if that's enough to override the album's weak technical assets. And considering the size and diversity of the prog metal scene, half-baked albums like this may not be worth everyone's attention. Still, there are plenty of excellent moments here (especially in the masterful "Hypocriticism/The Becoming") that make this an enjoyable listen for me. The most I can give to Requiem is 2.5 stars, but I'm still hopeful for their next effort. Stilllife has the potential - now they just have to fully execute it.
1. Intro To... (1:39)
2. A Godless World (6:18)
3. 12-Steps (8:26)
4. Fruit of the Fallen Tree (8:27)
5. Directive Four (5:41)
6. Hypocryticism/The Becoming (10:23)
7. Requiem Part I: The Oracle (10:07)
8. Requiem Part II: The Vision (6:13)
9. Requiem Part III: The Only Resolution (6:18)