Slavic black metal act The Stone A.K. The True Stone returns with their ninth studio album “Kosturnice” released on March 26th, 2021 via Immortal Frost Productions. Formed in the late nineties by the original member Kozeljnik (bass, and guitar), the band bears the influences of the Nordic black metal. In 2002, The Stone debuted its first studio album “Словенска крв”. Despite the lineup changes in the past, the band kept evolving and became one of the most influential groups in the Serbian underground scene. “Kosturnice” presents the visceral level of songwriting and maturity, the ninth studio album conveys robust dynamism. Besides the catchy guitar melodies and the energetic pacing of the drums, the songs rely on the key elements of the vocals. Its lineup is augmented by Glad (vocals), Vrag (bass guitar), Demonetras (rhythm guitar), Honza Kapák (drums) including Kozeljnik (guitars).
The first thing that you will come to notice is the catchy effect of the rhythm guitars. The songs are structured upon the fluidity of the melodies. The album opener “Pramaglina”, emphasizes impressive guitar melodies which combine effective vocals. With its innate diversity, The Stone creates their own musical identity. Despite the aggressive fast-paced approach, there is a lot of quality that can be found within the songs. “Okamenjen” is launched by fast tempos of the drums where the individuals bring energy into the play. The drums waste no time in firing off all cylinders. The furious beats are often contrasted with the superb rhythm section.
Although the melodies are derived from the Slavic style of black metal, The Stone brings forth some catchy tunes. The melodic elements here are very similar to Hungarian black metal bands such as Sear Bliss. The album title track is embedded in the heavy riffage and captivating vocal abilities. In spite of the musical perspective, the band does not intend to reinvent the wheel. “Kosturnice” proves that the aggressive side of the band is still intact and full of zeal and energy. While keeping the intensity flowing through the eight tracks, the band shows untamed aggression. The drums bursts out in anger on the following track “Tremors beneath the Ground of the Charnel House”. It is animated by the fierce spirit of Pagan black metal and carried through the dynamics of the drums. Keeping limited space for variations The Stone is capable of pulling some strings whether in displaying some traditional tremolos or sprinkling some synth touches.
“Ime koje su razvejali vetrovi” is another outstanding track that brings forth some enthralling synth, with the guitars emphasizing the towering melodies. “Kosturnice” is a refined album that offers quality to fans of melodic black metal. Although this kind of traditional approach reminds me of the early albums of Dark Fortress. The Stone seems to be stuck in some limbo loop of the early ’00s. The music here recalls mesmerizing quality and catchiness of such an era that seems to be forgotten by time. In terms of songwriting, The Stone displays great memorability and strong musicianship, perhaps the only criticism is that some of the songs seem to have similar patterns while keeping the intensity flowing with energetic tempos. “Kosturnice” is driven by scorching guitars, the use of the keyboards on tracks like “Engulfed by the Abyss” blends well with the other instruments.
These atmospheric subtleties add a beautiful texture to the song. In addition to the haunting guitar lines, the vocals provide a pivotal role. Seemingly avoiding the modern style of atmospheric black metal, the Slavic quintet presents some fiery moments on tracks such as “Omnicid”. With riffs blazing like inferno, the drums shed torrents of tidal blast beats while the guitars channel throughout. The closing track “Jebeš pero, dodaj mač” ensures a high quality of catchy rhythm and black metal screeches. The Stone’s latest output is, without doubt, one of the worthy albums I’ve heard this year, the Slavic quintet has brought a mesmeric and aggressive musical work full of hooks and melodies.
Release Date: March 26th, 2021
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
- Tremors Beneath the Ground of the Charnel House
- Ime koje su razvejali vetrovi
- Engulfed by the Abyss
- Jebeš pero, dodaj mač