Tuesday 26 September 2023


 That mysterious essence that seems to inspire so many Swedish bands to create quality heavy music appears to have once again made its way into the Swedish water system this time infecting four guys from Gothenburg working under the collective title of Stone Of Duna. The band, who at the time of writing this review have not yet set foot on a stage, have just released, via Bandcamp, their debut album "Moonsplitter" a promising and most enjoyable blending of fuzzy stoner/hard rock, prog metal and psych that we guarantee you are going to love. 

"Dirge For Fallen Giants" opens things up, its doomic intro, dark and throbbing, soon making way for a stuttering stoner metal like groove made strangely effective thanks to its understated but totally in the zone drumming. The songs lyrical content,  mythological and poetic, is delivered in powerful clean tones that possess a soulful clarity not usually the norm at the heavier end of the rock spectrum. "Deathbright" follows and sees the band bringing a little prog-like texturing to the table along with some nice grunge/alt-metal like vocal dynamics and off the scale guitar pyrotechnics, its understandable why they chose this as a single as it hits on every level. The proggish texturing of the previous track comes into its own on "Stygian Slumber" with crunching chord progressions, growling bass lines and thunderous drum patterns sharing space with gentle arpeggios, liquid low end and restrained but still swinging percussion beneath a vocal that soars and swoops with melodic muscularity. Desert Psychlist may be swimming against the tide here, as people are already making comparisons with TOOL, but we hear an element of Dream Theatre in next song "The Seven Aspect Snake" albeit slightly more thundersome and doomic and fronted by vocals that do not possess an annoying wobble. Final number and title track "Moonsplitter" sees Stone Of Duna going large, a ten minute plus opus that allows them to put all their musical eggs in one basket, crunching heaviness, grungy dynamics and prog complexity all blended together to create one epic wave goodbye that will leave many wondering what a second Stone Of Duna album may one day bring.

Comparisons are already being made between Stone Of Duna and some of the big hitters in the prog-metal genre but these guys are more than just another prog related metal outfit, they also incorporate the grittiness of stoner rock,  the dynamics of alt-metal and the dankness of doom into their sound. "Moonsplitter" is not just an album for prog metal fans it is an album for anyone who appreciates good, well played and well written rock music. 
Check it out ....

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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