It’s been awhile, but I think it’s high time I launched into another TreeFiddy review where I sum up new albums in 350 words or less for easy consumption, digestion and err, let’s just leave it at that…
The Down Lizzo:
Stone Collar is a South African band that’s been kicking around Cape Town for the last four years, melting faces with their brand of metal / hard rock in the tradition of legends such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Creed.
Their debut album Trial By Fire is rife with the kind of epic guitar riffs and solos that would have Guitar Hero enthusiasts bashing their little dorky plastic guitars to bits in frustration as they failed time and time again to keep up with lead guitarist Sean Tait and rhythm guitarist Clinton Jurgen’s masterful shredding.
The tracks on this album are all pretty much on a par. If you like one, you’ll love them all and you’ll probably know within two minutes of hitting play.
“Not For Good” is a sprawling, high-energy metal ballad that perfectly showcases Tait and Jurgens’ ability to match one another riff for riff as they tear through time honoured metal chord progressions.
In their single “SQT”, singer Leshem Peterson’s vocals soar triumphantly above the Tait / Jurgens metal maelstrom while drummer Bryan Nicol punches out some of the album’s tightest fills, lending his otherwise meat and potatoes drumming style some impressive flair.
“Poison The Well” is another standout track that builds nicely to a badass, chunky verse riff and a surprisingly catchy chorous and “…As The Crow Flies” is nice change of pace from the tight, lightning fast, palm-muted strumming that defines much of the album.
Should You Give A Shit?
First off, let it be known that the band recorded, produced, mixed, mastered, marketed, designed and are distributing the album all themselves so hats off to them for a killer effort.
However, I feel that the 80s and early 90s flogged the metal / hard rock / alternative genre to death and though they are incredibly tight musicians, Stone Collar’s debut feels like it landed 20 years too late.
“I’m born of a dying breed,” Petersen sings in the final track on Trial By Fire and I tend to agree. Still though, if you dig old school metal / hard rock you’ll love Stone Collar and I would highly recommend buying Trial By Fire.
In the meantime, hit play below to hear “SQT” and if you dig that crazy shit, be sure to head through to Mercury on Tuesday 17th May for their official album launch.
Final Verdict: 7/10