Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Power Metal
Release date: 12 November, 2013
Playing time: 46:54

When I first heard this I thought from the first few seconds in the opening track that this was mislabelled as a power metal band when Stonecast are actually hard rock. Then after a few seconds more I heard the sound change and thought "Ah...so not power metal, not hard rock, but black metal?", Finally after a few more seconds it jumped into power metal. That was very novel. I don't know if that was what they intended but it was quite fun.

The darker undertones of this album make for some good originality - there are some elements of the vocal performance as well as lyrical themes that branch away from standard power metal formula. Yes, lots of songs about battles and mythology but we ALWAYS know we are going to get that with power metal. Saying otherwise would be like expecting a classic rock band to not write songs about sexy women. What I like is the unpredictability of this album. Of course it is predominantly a power metal album but there are elements of so many other things thrown in too. Particularly the second track 'The Barbaric Rhyme' has things that, when described by me you could not imagine going together in one song and working. It has everything from black metal growls, vintage Maiden style galloping riffs with lovely guitar harmonies, some Rob Halford style shrieks thrown in too. It even has undertones of early thrash creeping in. It sounds like it would be a complete mess, but it's fantastic.

The album falters in a couple of places - there is an attempt towards the ending of 'Gods of Dust' - again sounding more thrash than power metal - where a battle soundtrack is added in in the background to the. It doesn't work. It sounds more like people throwing china plates in a loud argument than swords clashing together in an epic battle. Another weak point is the decision to have a 48 second vocal chant opening to the last track. It's called 'Savage Princes' and that intro, despite being only 48 seconds, goes on too long for me. The vocals are not as strong as elsewhere on the album.

The fantastic instrumental, Elysian Winds, ends too abruptly for my liking, but, on the other hand that too was welcome in the sense that it was not predictable. There is some good acoustic work though on the two ballads 'Substance' and 'The Place', it's the latter that is more characteristic of the genre, and has better vocal performance. Maybe they could have just included one of them.

I'd say this is more progressive-power than power metal. It's very entertaining and Stonecast manage to remain loyal to the key elements of power metal while throwing in some original ideas and mixing it up a bit. Good work. I see a lot of metal fans being able to enjoy this.

01. Jakuta (Cult of the Bolthrower)
The Barbaric Rhyme
Elysian Winds
Of Ice and Fire
Kings Unborn
Gods of Dust
The Place
Savage Princes
Label: Pitch Black Records
Distribution: Pitch Black Records
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 30 October, 2013
Website: Stonecast @ Facebook