Stonegard - From Dusk Till Doom

Norway’s contribution to the metal world doesn’t cease to amaze! Not only is their scene renowned for being extremely prolific, it’s also becoming incredibly diverse and bewitching with likes of Audrey Horne, Sahg, Trinacria and some others orbiting outside the common Black-Metal sphere joining the already widely known forces as Enslaved, Ulver, Red Harvest, Madder Mortem and so on.
Olso’s Stonegard is another surprising addition to such interminable current that have been garnering a big exposure throughout Scandinavia in the last few years, but elsewhere have remained fairly unknown. A scenario that will likely change now with Indie Recordings picking up their second album for a worldwide release.
Originally issued by Scandinavian label Bells Go Clang in 2006, “From Dusk Till Doom” has been revamped with a new recording and mixing and stands out for comprising a wide variety of styles ranging from Stoner Rock, Thrash-Metal and Progressive-Rock into a meaty, cohesive and striking whole.
There’s a multitude of influences crawling into “From Dusk Till Doom”, from the frantic and Thrash-Metal drive of the opening title-theme leanings towards groups like Testament and Metallica to slower and more emotional moments like “Morpheon” that hints at Alice in Chains on some occasions with Torgrim Torve delivering a invigorating and warmth vocal performance. The presence of Doom-Metal and Stoner-Rock can also be felt throughout the album with just a smidgen of Candlemass tossed in to create a desolate mood in “Crooked Feathers” and “S&C” sounding like a galvanized Kyuss/Hermano hybrid with Torgrim Torve adopting a dirty rock snarl close to John Garcia.
Stonegard strike an admirable balance between thunderous and heavy songs and softer and melodic moments in their second full-length work, all performed with a blistering energy and sheer finesse. An incredible nice surprise indeed! (7/10)

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