Friday, February 15, 2019

Live Video Review: STOVOKOR For the Glory of Qo'noS - 2-1-2019 by Dave Wolff

Place of origin: Portland, Oregon, USA
Genre: Klingon metal
Live Video: For the Glory of Qo'noS - 2-1-2019
Release date: February 10, 2019
Stovokor was formed in the 2000s by fans of extreme metal and Star Trek. The band’s concept is based on the Klingon mythos of the sci fi franchise, particularly Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. “Klingon metal” bands were practically unheard of then, it was an entirely new idea and got them a fair amount of attention, including an appearance in the 2004 documentary Trekkies 2. I have been an enthusiast of metal and Star Trek for many years, so I didn’t need much convincing to check them out. Star Trek: TNG is where I started getting into the Klingon mythos; the more the series delved into it the more immersed I became until I was completely hooked. I’ve always wondered what underground metal with a Klingon theme would sound like, and when I watched their promotional video for The Code it all seemed to make sense. After all, metalheads and the Klingons of Trek are long-haired, self-reliant and integrity-driven, with values fiercely opposed to what most consider socially acceptable. Stovokor, as described in Trek, is the Klingon Valhalla where the battle slain go after death, which would interest fans of Manowar, Amon Amarth and latter Bathory (Hammerheart, Blood On Ice, Nordland). Set to an aggregate of 80s thrash and power metal, brutal death metal, melodic death metal and late 90s black metal, their lyrics are sung in English and the Klingon language developed by Marc Okrand (yes, it’s a recognized language now). Having been inactive for some years, they recently reformed for a show at Portland, Oregon’s Twilight Cafe & Bar supporting MDC, Skullmaster, Dr. Mouth & the Head Nurse, and Warning: Danger! Even without modern studio magic and digital effects, the clip of “For the Glory of Qo'noS” pitches the band’s vast technical improvement. The band performed with three guitarists which notably enriched their sound. In their early years they sounded raw and a bit simplistic; due more to the production of their early material than their actual musicianship. With three guitarists there’s more going on and their influences show much more prominently. The club took the time to give them a good sound, though the drums and vocals could have been mixed with volume. But overall the song has the epic feel it was written to have. Running at about seven minutes, it allows you to experience the tale the band presents, from the still before the storm to the initial attack to the battle to the eventual victory. Besides the bands mentioned previously there are some traces of Iron Maiden and Metallica. Stovokor’s Youtube channel features this clip with several others from the show. -Dave Wolff

Dajathl 'IwjachpIn'a': Battle cries & blood screams
Khr'ell: Rhythm guitar
Qui Pe: Lead guitar
logh norgh: Lead guitar
Khraa'nik: Bass
ghor chal: War drums

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