Suresh De Silva, Andrew Obeyesekere
and Tennyson Napoleon formed the band in
1999 at S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia, where they
were schoolmates. They chose the name "Stigmata"
from the 1998 album Stigmata by melodic death
metal band Arch Enemy. The band's style is an eclectic mix
of Progressive, Thrash & Death Metal with Hard
Rock influences, laced with nuances of Classical, Latin,
Jazz, Blues, Baila and
Traditional Sri Lankan Rhythms.
“You are probably reading this because you know of the band Stigmata or because you have some
awareness of the Sri Lankan rock and metal movement, and would like to know what a band could possibly
mean – not just to that movement but original Sri Lankan music as a whole.
Before Stigmata not many Western bands in Sri Lanka envisioned composing their own pieces much less
considered recording an album of original compositions. The fact that they’ve given us three albums in ten
years, original music of increasing depth and compositional brilliance, is reason, in my mind, to celebrate.
But cultural legacy isn’t always in the obvious. Would the Bob Dylan fan measure his hero’s legacy in solely
numbers and the tangible? I hope not. Dylan’s music converges at the crossroads where the intensely
personal meets with the deeply cultural, a powerful place that exists in the hearts and minds of those of us
who have been touched by the singer-songwriter’s music. Stigmata find themselves walking towards this
crossroads now. It is then a good time to look back and place them in the context of history. What do
Stigmata mean to Sri Lankan original music?
When Stigmata released their first album ‘Hollow Dreams’ to a packed audience in a tiny club, this writer
was there, completely unaware of the phenomenon called Heavy Metal yet drawn to the primal music for
reasons I can’t still explain. Little did I, or the 200 or so who were there, realize then that a revolution was
born that balmy August night in 2003.
I use the word ‘revolution’ because that is what it was. Without Stigmata daring to take the first step, young
kids around Sri Lanka wouldn’t have dreamt of forming their own bands. The fact that Sri Lanka’s heavy
metal scene is now garnering attention from around the world is a direct consequence of Suresh de Silva,
Andrew Obeysekera and Tennyson Napoleon having the self-belief and making the sacrifices that life asks
of pioneers. “
An Article By Theena Kumaragurunathan for The Sunday Leader
"PSALMS OF CONSCIOUS MARTYRDOM“ Makes Chris
Colgan's Top 10 list as an Album of the Year" "Most of you
probably haven’t heard of this power-prog group from Sri
Lanka (not one of the many other Stigmata’s out there), but
they’re one of the most interesting groups I’ve discovered
in recent years. Much of Stigmata’s material makes some
of the biggest prog bands sound like their songs were
composed on a Casio children’s keyboard. If you want to
hear something fresh and exciting from the power-prog
underground, then Stigmata is what you’re looking for"
— Chris Colgan, Metal Insider
"Silent Chaos Serpentine" 7.5 out of 10, "Psalms of
Conscious Martyrdom" 8.5 out of 10. "Metal is not
exclusive to any one country or location, as any fan of the
genre knows. Where the spirit and drive to play heavy and
loud exists, metal will find a way. So it is with Sri Lankan
group Stigmata, a powerful and unique group with the
heart of metal deeply embedded in all five members. "
— Chris Colgan, The Metal Lab
"The band formed in 1999, and built a loyal following for
themselves around the Asian Metal scene. Ever since they
formed, the band have been hard at work, spreading their
music, and the feedback they've been getting from fans,
local radio stations, and shows has been more then great.
Their 2006 studio release "Silent Serpentine Chaos" is
placed at number 13 on Metal Forge's list for top 50
reviews of all time." "Jazz Theory" is a thrash metal song,
that falls into a Spanish acoustic solo, only to be roared
into a soaring guitar solo...one of the high points on the
— IROAR, METALITY.Net
" I’m not convinced that the band members are 'viciously
good looking’, but the music does it for me, and that’s what
I’ll leave you with"
— sam rgini, UltimateGuitar.com
"Sri Lanka's Biggest Band ever" "Sri Lanka isn’t
exactly a country known for metal, nor known for
anything really. So when I happened to come across
this full length release, Silent Chaos Serpentine, I
was certainly surprised to find out this was from Sri
Lanka. They had a certain flair and weird
combination of styles that isn’t exactly found a lot in
metal; weird aggressive thrash mixed with semi-
Gothenburg styled vocals overlapping with fun and
melodic solos that highlight this to more of a distinct
style. Even some weird ass flamenco/Spanish folky
acoustic picking sections are thrown in on one song
throwing a curve ball; like where the fuck did that
come from? Is this Carlos Santana mixed with the
guy from Krisiun??"
— The_Boss and Technogoat, Encyclopedia
Metallum - Metal Archives
"Genre busting metal with a thrash backbone" "After
hearing the start of the speed inflicted opener Swine
Maker, you’d be forgiven for thinking Stigmata was a
fairly straight ahead, old school-esque thrash band.
Before long however, the band deftly weaves a bit of
mid-nineties melo death into the mix to keep things
interesting. The genre fornication doesn’t stop there
however; with other tracks spitting out segments of
grind (Jazz Theory), prog (Lucid) and traditional
heavy metal (Solitude). Overall, Stigmata’s unique
style is certainly an enjoyable one, the band making
their formidable compositional skills well and truly
— Aedan Siebert, The Metal Forge
are the pioneers of Heavy Metal/Hard Rock music in Sri Lanka &
have etched a name for themselves as
one of the most respected creative forces and a live powerhouse amongst
Asia’s finest in this time and age.
The Band is celebrating their 13 Year Anniversary in 2013,
and are also celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the country’s and the band’s
debut album ‘Hollow Dreams’ , a milestone in the local music industry as an album
that opened the doors for Sri Lankan Originality to spread its wings globally.
have released three critically acclaimed albums; 2003’s ‘Hollow Dreams’,
2006’s ‘Silent Chaos Serpentine’ and the 2010 opus
‘Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom’ that have received rave reviews around the
world and ended up on Top Album of the Year Lists.
The power behind their music, their unrelenting passion, unique sound & style has
helped transcend into a unique fixture in Asia’s musical landscape.
The Band is working hard on their 4th
Album having written 12 new epic songs at the
moment and are toying with the notion of keeping the creative process open so that
more music can be composed and are the first Metal Band in Sri Lanka to
release an Original Double Album.
“Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom”
Album Launch in June 2010.
“Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom”
Album Launch in June 2010.
Released “Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom” on Saturday
the 26 June, 2010.
is the first Sri Lankan Metal/Rock Band to get signed up by
The prestigious local label M Entertainment.
The First Hoarding of a Metal Band in the country.
Concerts and Festivals
’s debut feature on the
Discovery Channel for travel icon
Ian Wright’s popular travel series
“Out of Bounds”.
Ian Wright features for the second time on his globally renowned new
program called ”Invite Mr.Wright” more extensively, a program showcasing an
island-wide tour, studio sessions and an evocative live performance only on the
’s axemen chilling out with cricket sensation Murali at the
Discovery channel shoot.
’s Photographs were recently showcased on
an entire wall at “The Show Must Go On”, a
revolutionary exhibition featuring live music
photography by Sachini Perera at The Lionel Wendt.
, Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom (M Entertainment)
Most of you probably haven’t heard of this power-prog group from Sri Lanka (not one of the many other
Stigmata’s out there), but they’re one of the most interesting groups I’ve discovered in recent years. Much
of Stigmata’s material makes some of the biggest prog bands sound like their songs were composed on a
Casio children’s keyboard. If you want to hear something fresh and exciting from the power-prog
underground, then Stigmata is what you’re looking for.
Read more at : http://www.metalinsider.net/lists/our-contributors-year-end-lists
"PSALMS OF CONSCIOUS MARTYRDOM“ Makes Chris Colgan's
Top 10 list as an Album of the Year.
Metal is not exclusive to any one country or location, as any fan of the genre knows. Where the spirit and drive to play heavy and loud exists,
metal will find a way. So it is with Sri Lankan group Stigmata, a powerful and unique group with the heart of metal deeply embedded in all five
members. Stigmata is one of only thirteen groups identified by the Encyclopedia Metallum as being located in Sri Lanka, a country better known
for its civil war and tea production than any sort of music scene. Nonetheless, Stigmata has a lot of skill and potential appeal. Their two most
recent albums, Silent Chaos Serpentine and Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom, are the stuff that makes most bands into humongous successes.
Silent Chaos Serpentine boasts a surprising number of influences, most of which appear in the first two songs. The most prevalent style is a
Nevermore-influenced style of progressive thrash with power metal vocals. Vocalist Suresh de Silva is a monster with a microphone, effortlessly
switching from a harsh, barking scream to soaring clean singing, and then moving to a mid-range clean vocal with a very martial, commanding
presence. "Jazz Theory" is where this album really starts to get engaging, with a mariachi-like section suddenly breaking into the middle of the
song and providing a delightful and informal interlude. "Lucid" opens with a gorgeous clean-sung intro that sees de Silva reaching Bruce
Dickinson levels of emotion and expression, and he keeps that level of excellence for the entire song. "Wingless" has the feel of an Opeth song
for its intro and refrain, transitioning into and out of an Unearth-style riff on the verses, making for an amazing contrast.
While the production on Silent Chaos Serpentine is not the greatest, it is still better than what you'll hear from a lot of black metal bands, and the
stylistic diversity adds more than enough to the record to make up for the low production value. In its basic interpretation, Silent Chaos
Serpentine is a largely successful attempt at achieving a fast, heavy, thrash-inspired power metal album with harsh vocals and epic
compositions. In other words, this album is a much better version of 3 Inches of Blood's first album, Battlecry Under a Winter Sun. The inclusion
of multiple different styles and outside influences is what pushes this album from being solid to exceptional.
However, the music gets even better on Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom, an album that pushes boundaries and dares to be more than what
conventional metal fans would consider acceptable. De Silva shows just how far Stigmata has come in the first half of "SpiralComa", managing
to sound like Rob Halford one moment and Dani Filth the next. It truly takes a rare and talented vocalist to pull that contrast off, and de Silva
does it with remarkable ease. It's one of many amazing bits of musicality included throughout the entire album, giving Psalms of Conscious
Martyrdom the feel of a treasure hunt, building anticipation for the next piece of musical delight to be uncovered.
From the astounding bass solo by Javeen Soysa on "Purer (Libera Nos a Malo)" to the brilliant layered vocals on "The Summoning Cry of
Aries"; from the grandiose composition of "A Dead Rose Wails for Light" to the diverse and complex influences on "Od(d)yssey", there is not a
moment on this album that is boring or stale. Every section of every song is dynamic, always moving towards something or creating a transition
into a new part. The rising and falling atmosphere gives Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom a truly interconnected feel, leaving the audience
feeling linked with the album's entire structure from start to finish.
Stigmata has thrown down the gauntlet with these two albums, making the statement that they are here to expand the horizons of metal as
much as they are able. Silent Chaos Serpentine lays a solid foundation of expressive progression, and Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom adds
endless options for growth and expansion onto the foundation. If this is what metal from Sri Lanka sounds like, then Stigmata needs to start
cultivating a scene there quickly, because both of these albums can be seen as stepping stones to creating something even more intelligent,
grand, and brutal in the future. This is a band definitely worthy of being followed by all metal fans.
Silent Chaos Serpentine Score: 7.5 out of 10
Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom Score: 8.5 out of 10
reviewed on The Metal
Forge - no.9 on the 50 Most Popular CD
Read more at : http://www.themetalforge.com/modules.php?name=Reviews
Read more at : http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=132837
on the world’s
reviewed on the world’s top
guitar site Ultimate-Guitar.
Read more at :
Read more at :
reviewed on Dubai’s top site
The Metal Reporter.
reviewed on Dubai’s top site
The Metal Reporter.
Read more at :
Live in Australia:
performed to a full house at the
Arts Festival 2010“
Live @ the Forum Theater on the
SAARC International Band Festival
performing for over 30, 000 people in New Delhi, India.
interviewed & asked to
perform ‘Lucid’ on MTV
headlined SUE 2009
on the 11th
@ Rookies in Johor,
SUE 2009 in Malaysia on the 11th and 12th of July 2009 @ Rookies.
Stigmata Featured on
Malaysia’s top Metal Magazine
ROCK STORM 2006 (chapter 1 – Rock your senses)
performing for 6, 000 people in Male, Maldives.
Concerts organized/performed by
in Sri Lanka.
* All advertising and event coordination
by ’s integrated creative
solutions agency 891 (Pvt) Ltd.
is the only band in Sri Lanka to
perform at the French Spring Festival in
Sri Lanka consecutively, three years straight.
Charity Fund Raiser for the
Blue Paw Trust Foundation to help make Sri Lanka rabies free.
Presence on the Web
have a staggering presence online with a legion of fans on Facebook,
www.youtube.com, Myspace and Reverbnation growing exponentially
’s Silent Chaos Serpentine has been reviewed by USA’s
www.tmetal.com and Australia’s Leading Heavy Metal Site
www.themetalforge.com where the Band remained over 2 years on a CD
reviews poll and peaked at No.9 on the site’s Top 50 Reviews of All Time.
’s customized Official Facebook Fanpage and
Group have acquired nearly 50,000 collective Fans.
are one of
Sri Lanka’s leading Bands on Reverbnation’s Top 5 Artists.
The 10 Year Anniversary of Hollow Dreams will be celebrated with a
special concert staged at the British School Auditorium on Saturday the
31st of August, 2013.
Stigmata will re-launch their now sold out debut album re-mastered with
fresh artwork as a limited edition collector’s item as a must have for fans
of all ages.
This event will be a one of a kind concert where the Band will perform
some brand new tunes, a couple of anthems off their discography & the
Hollow Dreams album in its entirety.
Join the Event Page : www.facebook.com/events/541464232580418/