Hard rock with a raw, live-style edge and some brilliantly addictive melodies – STONE’s new EP Chained brings back the classic roar of metal; alongside a notably poetic, refreshing thread of songwriting.
Gray Sky opens up the project and introduces the weight of the instrumental, the tightness and unity of the band, and the emotive, passionate strength of the leading vocal. All at once we get engaging riffs, thoughtful concepts, and a sort of prog-rock manner of scene-setting and story-telling. It’s provocative, and musically satisfying – increasingly so at volume.
Obey Fate follows and immediately sees a fast-fingered guitar solo rain down amidst high octane power chords and superb drum-work. It’s a mighty introduction, and even as things mellow out for the verse – this sense of weight and darkness falls heavy within the room.
Great vocals stand tall once again, as does the familiar melodic progression and observational nature of the lyric. There’s a fine fusion of familiarity and fresh angst to this one – it prompts you to turn things up, and envelops you entirely when you do.
STONE have a bold way with structuring their songs, creating dramatic realms around listeners – prompting strong interest in a live show, whilst also injecting a much-needed level of escapism into the room that’s hypnotic to lose yourself amidst.
With the title-track, more impressive guitar work leads us through another hit of original songwriting – seductive melodies, a sense of uncertainty and intrigue, even intimacy. Meanwhile the guitars and drums surround and intertwine, building a sort of juxtaposition between the smooth simplicity of the voice and the chaos and pace found elsewhere.
It’s always a pleasure to listen to bands so clearly influenced by the poetic storytellers and musicians who first paved the way in the hard-rock and metal worlds. STONE seem to revel amidst this quality, whilst keeping their vocal tone and intention, their overall sound as a band, as refreshing and interesting as possible.
Underneath highlights this well – the final track on the project, welcoming a dash of anthem-like rap and bold, near-operatic vocals amidst a fully immersive rock soundscape. A great way to go out, and a brilliant EP on the whole. Professionally captured yet passionately and powerfully performed, and with more than a few original ways of connecting on a deeply human level.