Album Title: 
Conflict Solution
Release Date: 
Monday, April 29, 2013
Review Type: 

As a bandname, Subztain came to life when lead singer/ bassist Andreas Morling, guitarists Marcus Wahlstrom & Robin Sandvik, and drummer Mattias Nielsen were forced, in the Summer of 2011, to change the name (Subtopia) they were previously known under in their area of the world (a town called Upplands Väsby, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden well know for having already spawned the likes of Europe, Candlemass and Heat upon the Earth), due to copyright issues. In other words : another band by the same name was threatening to sue them!

In January 2012, the re-named foursome spent 4 weeks at a local studio in their hometown, to record the current album with producer and recording engineer Chris Snyder, whom before already worked with the likes of H.E.A.T, Nightwish, and many more. Following the mixing process, the recordings were sent off to Abbey Road Studios in England for mastering, and when the masters were returned, it was accompanied by a rare comment from the engineers that worked on it, saying “Great songs!” what's that about?

In the band's own words, “We play Rock music. Not that hard pounding Black, Death, Speed, Growl Metal but somewhere or somewhat close to it. The guitars are fat with explosive riffs and the vocals are melodic. If we were to categorize our music it would be somewhere in between Alter Bridge and maybe Metallica or Nickelback We all like to play around with different techniques hailing from a wide range of different genres and play-styles”! Hahah...first of all, let me say I had to smile finding Metallica put on a same par as the more mainstream commercial Modern Rockers of Nickelback! But all joking aside about the commercial side of Metallica, I don't really hear any of that band's Thrash Metal guitars or vocals in that of Subztain, and in fact Nickelback IS the band which should've been used to make the musical comparison. However, let's put one fact straight from the get-go: Subztain's vocals remain clean throughout. There's no growling, sustained screaming or shouting involved in this band's vocals. Oh sure, occasionally there's a little more power, there's even some reaching for higher notes, and a very single time there will be a short scream (as in the song “Hail My Mistress”, for instance) but overall the vocals remain relatively clean and calm. It has to be said, that calmer vocal style falls in very well with the band's style of songwriting, which frequently uses calmer passages in between the more aggressive ones. However, the band is clearly (huh...wait for the pun, wait for it...) not ready to be cornered into one specific style, as shown with the song “Clearly” (there it it!), in which the band uses Rap in the vocals. For “Lock You Up”, the boys go in an acoustic ballad mode (in fact, here's a song that could be done by Andreas...providing he can play the acoustic guitar part, of course). Oh wait, although I said there's no Metallica influences to be heard, the song “Take The Lead” nevertheless has some Thrash Metal influences after all! But then, so do some of Nickelback's songs, in spite of the band's overall commercial feel, right!? At any rate, you get the picture, I hope, that Subztain is really a rather versatile band. End conclusion : best to call Subztain a Modern Heavy Rock act!

To show that versatility, the band has posted no less than the 8 first songs on their album (which has a total of 13) on the player of the homepage of their own website (www.) No need to start searching for other places (facebook, MySpace) on the Internet to find even more, this is the place to be! Oh, and there's a video for the album opening track in the “Vids” section as well! Just to give an indication about what this band stands for, let's mention that in the most current band competition for a spot on the Sweden Rock festival of 2013, Subztain made it to #17 (of course, only the top 3 get to actually play at the festival, but #17 out of a list of 1500 competing bands, that' quite a complement after all)!