Hailing from London town Stoneghost are a band I have been lucky enough to see a couple of times. Way back in 2009 and 2010 at Bloodstock. 2009 saw the band hit the S.O.P.H.I.E stage and the following year after making a good impression on the main stage. From then I was hooked and looking forward to this release. The band dub this as a new start, and what a start. I’m going out on a limb here but Stoneghost are coming for you and coming hard. Rights get into this shall we, expect hard metal, some of you may here veins of Soulfly, Hell Yeah and Pantera but what you are getting is England’s own Stoneghost.
01. Faceless ghost – Now then what have we got here then? A cracking opening track that’s what. Ticking all the boxes and hitting us hard just as a first track should. You can pick up on the influences and also the bands own musicality and levels of skill. Great vocals, guitar work and solid rhythms drag us to the end.
02. Devils Motion – Hell Yeah, here is is the Skip and bob I bang on about, every good metal track has this, it gets your head moving and your body swaggering. Great lyrics showing the bands eloquence and ability to craft solid tracks. Time signature changes and vocals that grab you and drag you kicking and screaming to the end of another sublime track.
03. All they need is the light – The spoken word intro carries through as a layer that gives another dimension. This ability to craft songs this way is a lesson that some bands could learn from. Guttural vocals hurl us into the last section of growling vocals and deep metal riffs. A real cracker of a track.
04. Second to breath – A slightly slower start, a little more melodic at first and you could say it is a rocker, well at first you’d be correct. But then it skips up a gear or two. This is a solid track that is well positioned in the release.You feel the production and musicality here and you begin to get under the skin of Stoneghost.
05. The sound remains – Back into a full on metal assault. You are getting a real feel for Stoneghost by now and if you’re like me, you’ll be hooked. The band have found their comfort zone and are putting together tracks that many could only dream of. Great guitars move this along very nicely.
06. Raynardine – So first a Raynardine is a Werefox that entices beautiful women to it’s castle, so now you know. A steady paced track and you’ll be treated to a very decent guitar solo towards the end. Hard hitting vocals again grab and drag you to the end of the track. And this is one of my favourite tracks on the release.
07. Sleeper – An accoustic start that builds slowly coupled with slightly demonic vocals we are lead into the main body of the track and then….Hold onto your hats! Solid brutal vocals that end as fast as they started, this track moves from slow to fast and back again. A lesson in keeping the listener do what they should be doing, listened. This is a cracking slab of molten metal.
08. Your trigger my finger – We are greeted by a sustained note, kick drum and by now that obvious Stoneghost competency. Staccato vocals and guitars meld together to create a really cool feel to this track. This is most definitely metal and a bloody good slab of it as well. You may pick up on my slight towards Hell yeah which is no bad thing.
09. Third degree – We are get this now and again right? Well you’ll get this right from the start. From a bands debut release you may not expect such well crafted and thought out tracks but here you’re getting them in spades. Third degree is a little slower but it is a top draw metal track.
10. Let sleeping beasts lie – Haunting spanish style intro, that is slightly Soulfly in sound, yet again thats a good thing. The vocals are superb and the whole track sits in the release perfectly. Lyrically this is a really top flight piece of work coupled with superb guitar work we are left in no doubt that Stoneghost are a real tour de force and one we should take very seriously.
11. Mother of all bastards – This is the bonus track and in fact a demo. Well it has to be said if this is a demo, watch out. It is full on metal that smashed you right between the eyes and goes along with this whole release perfectly.
To sum up then. Bloody hell. I kept this on shuffle as I wrote this and with each listen it gets stronger. Whilst it is at the heavy end the work on this album is in places sublime and I just could not stop listening to it. I am pretty sure we could have a home grown giant on our hands. The band are on tour soon and I would very strongly suggest you get yourselves along. A fantastic metal release and you’re not going to see me do this very often but I’m hitting up a 5/5 for this. Grab a copy, turn it up, and set up a pit in your living room.
All They Need Is The Light
Second To Breathe
The Sound Remains
Your Trigger, My Finger
Let Sleeping Beasts Lie
Mother Of All Bastards (demo)
Jason Smith – Vocals
Chris Finniss – Drums
Jamie Nash – Bass
Andrew Matthews – Guitar