Monday, 24 October 2011

STONELAKE – Marching On Timeless Tales (CD)

Swedish melodic metal merchants Stonelake are back with their fifth album. The band is and have always been, really good, but what I’m not convinced by is the mix. There’s a lack of balance with the drums sounding horribly digital and sterile, and also overpowering the sound, making the guitars lack. It feels like things have been recorded in different studios, mixed separately and then just pieced together without really thinking about the sound gelling together. I do have a hard time getting past the horrible drums, both the sound and performance. The guitars probably sound great on their own, but the lack power in the overall sound. Singer Peter Grundström often makes me think of Poodles vocalist Jake Samuel, which is fine by me. The songs are pretty good, and at times remind me of Lynch Mob in their better moments, mixed with Masterplan or Circle II Circle. Some really nice guitar playing from Jan Åkesson, but I think he should concentrate on the guitars and let someone else handle the mix. It’s always good to have an outside opinion (wish someone had forced Yngwie to take that advice, too...). The first half of the album is quite varied and really good, while the second half doesn’t offer as much diversity and it feels a bit too standard to be of greater interest unfortunately. Still, well worth checking out for fans of melodic metal with a touch of power metal.
Janne Stark
Label: Massacre
Country: Sweden
Year: 2011

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