Sunday, April 12, 2015

STONEGHOST: "New Age Of Old Ways"

Rating: RRR
Label: Mascot 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Bromley, London. Judging by the 11 songs performed by Stoneghost on their "New Age Of Old Ways" album, it's definitely the scariest place in the U.K. Ghoulish attractions and its chilling atmosphere offers fascinating sound structures and haunted tracks such as opener "Faceless Ghost". Indeed. Everyone loves a good (stone) ghost story, whether you believe them or not. The song is one of the creepiest, eeriest, things we've heard as of lately as it goes through several different layers of murdering metal such as Pantera, Anthrax (the Sound Of White Noise' feat. Bush, and not the Belladonna albums), and Corrosion Of Conformity. Very impressive. Very good. Very Metal!

Hang on a minute, the lyrics aren't quite as scary as I first thought? It's about the birth of vocalist Jason Smith's daughter and the way our metal shouter is feeling anxious and afraid about becoming a father? He even went to therapy? WTF? Seriously. WTF?? There goes all credibility out through the front door. Okay. Simply forget about the scary part. In fact. Scratch everything and start all over again? We expected metal monsters and they gave us... people afraid of babies? Stoneghost, haunted by a toddler?

Okay lads. So far it's not looking too good, metal image-wise. Let's try and chill by listening to track two, "Devil's Motion". Mosh! It's the over aggressive syndrome all over again. Don't get me wrong. The correct use of the f-word could indeed enhance the listening experience of your metal song. Too many times and it's just poor education and not being able to use the English language properly. Ouch. That's rich coming from your none-English speaking citizen. But seriously. Would anyone care to read the words if you're going about like a mental Smurf with the tourettes? Okay. I'm obviously trying too hard to find things to complain about. But what the hell? Poke the bear and kill your darlings?

Second To Breathe, clean singing and mid-paced, grungy metal, you'll have the sound of Corrosion Of Conformity and Mastodon ringing in the background. Raynardine, mythology and brutality works like a charm together and we haven't been mosh-pit dancing this much since last time we dug up Katie from the cemetery graveyard. Sleeper, probably the real sleeper/keeper of the album with its doomy metal sound and mesmerizing melody. I love the Prong-style of Third Degree and the super cool bridge and harmonies. Try this for size if you enjoy the brutal and aggressive vibe of the 90's vs. the mosh-pit tunes of the 80's. Some of the melodies are too similar in structure and style for my personal taste, not to mention that I hate the so-called singing style of Your Trigger, My Finger and Mother of All Bastards. It's still the pretty good album, just not super good.

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