Title track "Fields of Doom" opens Stone Nomads debut opus and in five minutes forty two seconds more or less tells you exactly everything you need to know about what this band bring to the table, i.e. huge rumbling riffs, crushing percussion and big vocals. The main vocal for this particular song is handled by guitarist Cosky his bear like roar is a real force of nature and his guitar playing, a mix of soaring bluesiness and metallic finger blurring shredding, is just as impressive. "Fiery Sabbath" follows and finds Cosky sharing vocal duties with bassist Sisk, Sisk's slightly cleaner, but just as huge, voice combining with Cosky's growlier tones to create raw and raucous harmonies beneath which, with considerable support from Crosby's drums, they lay down a groove that is constantly transitioning between low slow and heavy and up tempo and strident. "Primitive Rituals" sees Sisk taking the vocal lead with Cosky taking on more of a backing role, the songs groove is a little less undulating than on previous tracks and boasts a more proto-doomic dynamic with Sisk and Crosby locking in together to provide a gnarly mix of growling bottom end and thunderous percussion which Cosky then decorates with crunching power chords and screeching lead work. It's all aboard the good ship ambient for the next track "Winds of Barren Lands" a stunningly beautiful instrumental that sees Stone Nomads proving acoustic guitars can doom too. "Soul Stealer" is up next and is one of those songs that once heard will never be forgotten, a metal torch song that doesn't start out that way but becomes one thanks in part to Sisk and Cosky's emotion drenched vocal performances and Cosky's feel soaked guitar solo's that soar and swoop in and around his and Sisk's impressive vocal interplay, Crosby holding everything together with some seriously impressive drumming. Despite their tongue in cheek "sons of Sabbath" claim it is another iconic doom band that Stone Nomads doff their caps to for their closing number, the band crunching out a cover of St Vitus' "Dragon Time" and making a damn fine job of it too, their version almost eclipsing the original by ramping up the songs intensity to one more than ten and throwing in some seriously mind-blowing lead work.
© 2022 Frazer Jones