||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
|Genres||Progressive metal, death metal, thrash metal|
|Labels||Rock Company, INDIE, M-Entertainment|
|Associated acts||Tantrum, Soul Skinner|
|Members||Suresh De Silva
|Past members||Yohan 'Berty The Great' Gunawardena
Suresh De Silva, Andrew Obeysekara and Tennyson Napolean 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 a mix of thrash metal along with some death metal, and hard rock influences, laced with nuances of classical, Latin, jazz, blues, baila, and eastern rhythms.
With bass player Shehan Gray and drummer Anik Jayasekara, they released their first single, "Fear", which topped the local radio rock-chart show. In 2000 they recorded another, "Voices", which was a sensation in the stagnant local music industry, and was a chart-topping hit. In 2001 the band took on drummer Dilukshan Jayawardena, following the departure of Jayasekara due to personal reasons. The band released their first EP, Morbid Indiscretion, in 2002, containing the singles "The Dying Winter Sleeps" and "Thicker Than Blood" plus the instrumental "Andura". At the time, the band also covered music by international bands such as Deep Purple, Metallica, System of a Down and Led Zeppelin, as well as bands not so popular in the country at that time, such as Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Judas Priest and Cradle of Filth, which made them revolutionary by exposing Sri Lankans to music many in the country had never heard before.
Hollow Dreams and Silent Chaos Serpentine
In 2003, drummer Nishantha Fernando joined the band, following the departure of Dilukshan for higher education. The success of the original singles released up to this point culminated in the band launching their first album, Hollow Dreams, in August 2003 on the local "Rock Company" label. The band continued to influence many youth in the country to form their own heavy-metal bands and carve a unique Sri Lankan heavy-metal sound.
In 2004, Vije Dhas became Stigmata's bass player, after Shehan Gray left for Australia. Former drummer Dilukshan temporarily stepped in after Nishantha Fernando left the band earlier that year. In 2005 the band found permanent drummer Osanda Wangeesa, and the range of the band was further increased, with the addition of double-bass drumming. In late 2004 the band also recorded the successful acoustic track titled "Lucid" which made innovative use of the Indian tabla, played by Sri Lankan percussionist Jananath Warakagoda. This was a prelude to the heavier, electric version of this song released on the bands' second studio album, Silent Chaos Serpentine, in February 2006. This was followed up by concerts in the Maldive Islands in June 2006. Drummer Ranil 'Jacky' Senarath joined the band in August 2005, after the departure of Osanda. Vije Dhas left the band in 2008 and was replaced by Javeen Soyza. In October 2008, the band was listed on Ultimate Guitar's Unsigned Artists of the Month, with a rating of 7.
In 2009, Stigmata released "A Dead Rose Wails for Light" which was also available on the band's Myspace site. The band was interviewed and asked to perform "A Dead Rose Wails for Light" for Ian Wright's Out of Bounds, a travel series on the Discovery Channel. The band headlined for the SUE (Southern Ultimate Explosion) 2009 metal music festival in Johor, Malaysia.
Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom (2010–present)
The band's third album, Psalms of Conscious Martyrdom, was released on 26 June 2010. The album was popular enough to help Stigmata get a tour of Australia as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival under the artistic direction of Brett Sheehy in October 2010 and performing at the historic Forum Theatre Melbourne alongside Dead Meadow (USA), Blarke Bayer / Black Widow (Australia), making them the first-ever Sri Lankan heavy metal band to tour there.
Style and lyrical themes
The lyrical themes of the band are generally from poetry by the bands' vocalist lyricist, Suresh, and cover topics such as apathy, child abuse, politics, war, social degradation and inner struggle. However the band's third album sees Stigmata dealing with fresh themes like psychic voyages, spiritual and para-psychological endeavours, suicide, etc.
- 2002: Morbid Indiscretion
Various artists compilations
- 2003: Rock Company Compilation I
- 2005: Rock Company Compilation II
- 2008: Sri Lankan Heavy Metal Compilation Volume 1
- "Fear" – (1999)
- "Redemption" – (1999)
- "Voices" – (2000)
- "Thicker than Blood" – (2002)
- "The Dying Winter Sleeps" – (2002)
- "Extinction" – (2003)
- "Lucid" (Acoustic) – (2005)
- "Solitare" – (2006)
- "My Malice" – (2007)
- "A Dead Rose Wails for Light" – (2008/9)
- "Purer (Libera Nos a Malo)" – (2010)
- "Falling Away"
- "On The wings of the Storm"
Mikhail Ismail 1999–?
- "Metal Titans Stigmata with M Entertainment".
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- "Unsigned Artists of the Month: October 2008 Review". Ultimate-guitar.com. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "News About The New Single". Srilankanheavymetalunion.blogspot.com. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Encyclopedia Metallum". Metal-archives.com. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
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- "Beck's Festival Bar Dead Meadow, Stigmata, Blarke Bayer/Black Widow". Melbournefestival.com.au. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- L. Argent, "Stigmata ten years on", Daily Mirror Sri Lanka, September 2010
- "Dead Meadow, Stigmata @ TheForum Theatre, Melbourne(14/10/2010)". FasterLouder.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Rock Company's 1st Anniversary on the Sunday Observer Sunday, 18 April 2004". Sundayobserver.lk. 18 April 2004. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Album Sale And Review on Garitto". Garitto.com. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "The Rock Company on the Daily News Saturday, 21 April 2007". Dailynews.lk. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Sri Lankan Heavy Metal Compilation VOLUME 1 on sri lankan heavy metal union blog". Srilankanheavymetalunion.blogspot.com. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Stigmata – Falling Away – Official Video". Youtube.com. 25 December 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.