By Bernadine Rodrigo
Sri Lankan heavy metal band Stigmata is not unknown in the country, having been performing in the mainstream for a twenty years now. Their original music has always thrilled us and is also a prime example of the heights the Sri Lankan music industry could reach.
In somewhat of a commemoration to the completion of a double- decade in their musical career, Stigmata has taken measures to make a few changes in their style of music and compiled a brand new album set to launch this year.
Although the album is not yet released, we saw the release of their first song from the album on 27 March. The launch was supposed to be done in a grand fashion at an entertaining event, but due to the prevailing situation in the country, it had to be cancelled. As such, their song Alyssa was released on many media platforms worldwide and is currently available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Bandcamp, amongst others, and is also seeing great positive feedback.
The artwork for Alyssa shows an adorable dog. This lovely creature is in fact Alyssa, and the song was written in her memory. Alyssa was the only surviving pup of a three-legged rescue dog the band took in. Alyssa herself was born with only one leg and soon discovered to be blind. However, this “miracle pup”, as the band puts it, did not let these “minor” shortcomings bring her down. They describe her as “Alyssa Nakamichi – fierce and crazy, loyal to a fault, and a fighter”.
Alyssa’s story had a sad ending as she had passed away recently. Losing Alyssa forever, Stigmata felt the same pain that comes with the loss of any loved one. Hence, they dedicate this song to anyone who has lost loved ones.
The band has also compiled a video with small clips/pictures of beloved pets lost by many people across the globe, creating a heartfelt worldwide commemoration to them. However, the release date of the video is yet to be confirmed.
Give Alyssa a listen. It is a touching song that, according to Stigmata, people will find respite in. In addition, it’s always good to support local music. Not to forget, the album, including the single Alyssa, is mixed and mastered by Grammy-nominated music producer from the UK, Romesh Dodangoda.
Nevertheless, I feel the most important reason to listen to this new song is for the sake of little Miss Alyssa Nakamichi, a pup that was loved and we would have loved to know.