Wim R. : Stagma was founded by guitarist Alex Santos. He also wrote most of the twelve songs and produced the album. Santos succeeded in attracting some known rock musicians to Stagma. Most known is former Black Sabbath and Dio drummer Vinny Appice. The other more or less known musicians are also drummers. Former AC/DC and Dio drummer Simon Wright can be heard on one song and former Malmsteen skinbeater Patrick Johansson lends a hand on two other songs on ‘Stagma’. Besides Santos, Ten guitarist Neil Fraser is also part of the band and Rob Mancini was hired for the vocal duties.
Stagma plays heavy rock, somewhat reminiscent of WWIII, coincidence or not, Appice used to be part of this band in the past. The album starts off with the very, very long intro ‘Genesis’ (yawn…). The song that follows ‘Pokerface’ does not really kick gears in to motion. In this song it is already obvious that Mancini is a bit of a one dimensional singer and stays in the lower regions with his voice. ‘Rocket Machine’ has a very nice instrumental middle section, but Mancini takes away a lot of the listening pleasure with his vocal antics unfortunately. A problem that continues throughout this album. Musically there are some very enjoyable and strong moments, but this debut lacks a consistent strong song. In how far we can call Stagma a band? I have my doubts. If Stagma wants to gain more popularity, there has to be improvement in the vocal and songwriting department. If not, this will stay an effort to climb the ladder of success without succeeding to do so. Getting some known names to join you on an album is not always a recipe for success, Stagma is a prime example of that.