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Stallone are an instrumental Atlanta metal quartet who released an EP at the beginning of 2012. However, the whole thing is vaguely mysterious. I have three tracks in the download i was sent, but their BandCamp only lists two tracks. What's up with that?

Anyway, the first track is Wondrous Beast. In this, one guitar chugs along with the rhythm, while another whines away under eBow. Then, in the middle, there is a xylophone. In a metal song, a xylophone tinkling on the bridge? It works though, this faint break in the otherwise intense riffing of the song.

The next track starts off with flamenco guitar picking a nice riff, before descending into a flurry of intense power chords and thudding drums. This tune is called La Cobra, and after a while the riffing parts and the guitars get all chimey as the song slows down a bit. Someone hits a tremolo pedal, and for a minute this could be a Stratford 4 song. But then, towards the end, the guitarists crank it into overdrive and they play high-speed thrash metal for a bit. The song kind of has some strange transitions, but they make it work.

Now, i also have a third song, which is called The Battle of Miami, which my download lists as track 3 on the EP, but BandCamp does not list at all. On this song, Stallone channel early Dinosaur Jr. more than anything. Sure, one of the guitars is doing some pretty heavy riffing, but the other is meandering and squealing in that big, echoing sound that J Mascis is famous for. This is 6 minutes of crunchy rhythms and tight guitarwork.

Overall, i am impressed. I know that this will not be everyone's cup of tea, but Stallone do what they do quite well, and are not just another by-the-numbers metal act.

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