Synth whiz Martin Rev, co-founder of legendary New York underground art rockers Suicide, has gone classical on his eighth solo album, but it's classical of a particularly Rev-esque nature. Blatantly performed on a keyboard, the 14 short tracks that make up Stigmata sound like excerpts from the score for a direct-to-video fantasy film, the sub-Enya "harp" sounds of "Jubilate" and the swooning strings of "Te Deum" (all the song titles are in Latin) providing suitably cheesy backdrops for Rev's minimalist, barely-in-tune crooning. Though "Sanctus" tries to crank things up a little, this music doesn't even have the pomposity and epic darkness of, say, the faux-classical interludes on a Dimmu Borgir album, nor does it have the coiled energy and relentlessness of Rev's work with Suicide. Each track takes a single idea and loops it for two or three minutes with almost no variation, and even at its most amped-up ("Domine," "Exultate") it just sounds like the music used to soundtrack biographical films on Olympic athletes. This might be enjoyed by folks who are really into the Burzum albums Varg Vikernes made from his prison cell, but even Suicide fans will likely find Stigmata hard to get excited about.
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AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman