25 Nov 2013

Stone Magnum - From Time... To Eternity [Full length] (2013, R.I.P. Records)

The state of Indiana has a reputation of being mostly devoid of any metal in regards to large touring circuits, and in terms of internationally known metal acts the state doesn't fare much better. I had previously heard of Stone Magnum from Michigan City last year when they released their first album more or less out of nowhere. Only one and a half year later they've released their sophomore album effort, From Time... To Eternity.

Though I never got around to listening to the band's eponymous debut, upon listening to the follow up I find it safe to say that Stone Magnum bring to the table doom metal of the highest calibre. It stands as a solid display of musical craftsmanship with heavy, melodic guitar riffs with a thick backdrop of thrumming bass lines creating a bridge between the gruff but epic vocals and the deliberate pace of the drums. The riff-smiths of Stone Magnum have done a great job creating amazing doom-hooks for just about every track on the album - a feat that is only further emphasized by the uncommon delivery of the vocals.

Stone Magnum is most definitely a product of several decades of doom metal evolution. Sticking to the roots, the band's style is best described as a mix of all the great old ones within the genre, mixing together elements from both the American, British and Scandinavian scene, and it's nice to hear a modern doom metal band that isn't a complete Black Sabbath ripoff. The vocals themselves sound like Tom G. Warrior punching Messiah Marcolin in the face, and every riff - not just the main riffs, mind you!! - are well thought-out audile delicacies. I've been listening to From Time... To Eternity since it came out in June, often finding myself returning to their epic melodies for another dose of doom, and I can safely say that the album holds up in the long run. A problem that many newer bands within the genre face is a lack of variation, often mucking about with their noses in the same riff for minutes on end. From Time... To Eternity is almost 50 minutes of doom metal which may seem like a lot, but there is incredible amounts of variation in structure, temperament and speed while holding an iron grip on their gloomy atmosphere.

It seems futile to go into details with every great aspect of the album because the good far outnumber the bad. The fuzzy, warm feeling of the production suits the style of Stone Magnum magnificently, but some of the riffs and the drums in particular could stand to gain a little punch to really accentuate the power and dynamics of Stone Magnum's formidable songwriting. Together with Devil's follow up album to the modern classic Time to Repent, "Gather the Sinners", these make up the back bone of the best doom metal albums of 2013. Stone Magnum stands as a monument to the fact that good new music doesn't have to come from a bunch of adolescents. Doom metal in particular just sounds better coming from seasoned old dudes. 9/10 guitars.

1. From Time... To Eternity
2. Lonely God
3. In Tongues They Whisper
4. The Gallows of Ohrdruf
5. By An Omen I Went
6. Uncontained
7. In the Garden of Beasts

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