“Versatile”, the latest release by minimalistic, gloomy neo-folk project A Stick and a Stone is not something one would typically expect on a website that mainly covers metal, yet its melancholy will certainly appeal to an overlapping crowd. This is the work of multi-instrumentalist and singer Elliott Miskovicz whose songs are inspired by personal tragedies, which -in all likelihood- accounts for their desolate nature.
It all starts off well enough with the zephyr that is “Husband of Wind”. Simple and elegant, it reminds me of Björk with a cold, chanting at a pagan burial ritual while doing her signature drunk Annie Lennox impression. Vocals and strings -the latter performed by several guest musicians- set the tone here and continue to do so throughout the record, forgoing some of the influences present on earlier releases. The simplicity of this formula is both the album’s greatest strength and deepest weakness, in the sense that while it helps to maintain a solemn sensation of suffering, the artist’s technical shortcomings are exposed, and the whole experience becomes somewhat tedious. When you have reached the song “Timelapse”, you will probably already have realized that “Versatile” is not very… varied.
This is an honest, fragile creation that is unfortunately marred by musical flaws and ultimately bogged down by its own inflated self-importance. Nevertheless, it is worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of Chelsea Wolfe, Ivoux, Azure Ray, etc.
Release date: January 15th, 2021
Label: Anima Recordings
- Husband of Wind
- Monster Men
- Languages Unspoken
- Oslo in Snow
- Heart of a Whale