After seven years away, STOA return with an international line-up. This new album from the music philosophers surprises in more than one way. In fact, the very release of Silmand is surprising in itself if you consider that there was NO news of STOA for the past 7 years! However, fans will be happy that the STOA mastermind has stayed true to himself with his fourth album. Besides the usual melancholy, unusual pop rhythms have found their way onto the album, but the typical STOA sound is still distinct.
The vocal lines harbour some surprises as well. There is the angelic voice of singer Mandy Bernhardts, known from her live performances of the band; however, the voices of three guest singers also feature on Silmand. The first voice belongs to the Australian multi-instrumentalist Louisa John Krol. The Dutchman Peter Nooten (ex-CLAN OF XYMOX) is also present, as well as the Leipzig-based Ralf Jehnert (LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH).
With Silmand, STOA has created an album for the calmer moments in life, for cuddling, for getting lost in ones thoughts, for philosophizing. The sound of STOA invites the listener to seek their inner sadness and to fly away with it on angel wings. The dark side of the human soul is unveiled, but without falling into clichés. The melancholy is touched and the soul is musically caressed. Silmand means 'Soul Month'. This is the name for the month of September in an almost forgotten German dialect. Olaf Parusel says "Besides the strength and spirit of the summer, September harbours a shimmer of the autumn's melancholy. A glimpse of winter's implacability that all life will retreat to."
Of course, the album is suitable for all months of the year. How about a glass of red wine whilst listening to it?