Upon first listen to Strati - a collection of catchy, high-energy space rock with metal, pop, and prog coatings - an educated listener might assume a handful of musicians brought their varied ideas to the table, creating a wide landscape of sounds. However, Stemage consists of only a single songwriter, composer, musician, and microphone; all controlled by the whim of one Grant Henry.
Like many rock musicians, Henry has changed band rosters throughout the years but, unlike most, he has also had the foresight to change instruments. Going from front man to guitar player to drummer over his years of recording and touring has put him in a variety of situations, opening for Fear Factory and Nonpoint along the way. Taking these rock band experiences with him into the studio, Henry learned to function as an independent one-man studio. The best proof of this expertise is the instrumental homage to the Nintendo videogame Metroid, aptly entitled Metroid Metal, which has gained international acclaim from the likes of Nintendo Power, Nintendo of America, and countless video game / metal fans everywhere. Not to be pigeonholed as a one-trick pony, Henry has also added winning numerous song contests and scoring the independent film For Catherine to his proverbial bedposts of accomplishments.
Enter Stemage, the latest and greatest from Henry's addled mind as shown in its balance between guitar driven hooks and seemingly chaotic rhythmic dissonance. Unsatisfied with generic rock predictability Strati (meaning "layers") thrives on complex backbones, piled on melodies, dodging time changes, cleverly perculiar lyrics and ensuring that the listener never gets bored.
Photo Credit: NickelEdge (Flickr)