Sunday 16 February 2020

STONUS - Aphasia (Album Review)

Release date: March 06th 2020. Label: Daredevil Records/Electric Valley Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Aphasia - Tracklisting

4.Mania 06:35
6.Dead End
7.Ghost Town


Vocals: Kyriacos Frangoulis
Lead Guitar: Pavlos Demetriou
Rythm Guitar: Nicky Ray
Bass: Andreas Aristides
Drums: Kotsios Demetriades


Aphasia is the hard-rocking and turbo-charged debut album from London based Greek Psych Stoner Rockers – Stonus. This album has been on constant rotation ever since I received a copy late last year. Stonus try their hand at many different sounds within the Psych Rock/Stoner Metal genres adding traces of Doom Rock and Desert Rock into their music.

Stonus operate in the same world as KYUSS, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet and early QOTSA. If that gets your appetite or engine running then Aphasia is the album you need to listen to.

The opening song – Intro – is just that. A 50 second intro of different sounds that is just continuous loops and noises before a long drawn-out flat-line fades away into the background before the excitement really starts with the next song.

Second song – Awake – has a classic Kyuss/QOTSA feel to it and Stonus don’t waste any time in playing a heavier and doomier blend of Stoner Rock/Metal with a raw sounding atmosphere and turbo-charged riffs allowing the band to add a more soulful “Cosmic” style of music into the mix. The drumming and guitars are drive the music along with Kyriacos vocals having a more “Punk” based energy. The song is quite progressive with the song running past the 7 minutes mark.

Third song – Aphasia – with being the title track is perhaps also the strongest song on the album with Stonus adding a world-weary voice-over at the start. Repeated callings of “CAN YOU HANDLE IT” play in the background before the riffs gently appear and you can feel that classic “KYUSS” influence shining through yet again and that is no bad thing. The song moves at a blistering pace and Stonus lay down some of the best Psych Rock/Stoner Metal riffs on this song. The atmosphere is fused with a heavy dose of Blues Rock that also gives the song a classic sounding feel.

Fourth song – Mania – carries on the fast-paced action with more of the same highly energetic sound that Stonus play superbly well. This has a more “FUZZIER” attitude and is another one of the standout songs on the album. The vocals are perhaps the best thing about this album as Kyriacos excels on this song and makes his presence feel known amongst the heavy sounds the band play on this album.

The other 3 songs on the album continue with the Desert/Fuzz/Stoner Metal grooves that Stonus play so superbly well. Maybe the music isn’t the most original but Stonus play to their musical strengths on this album and it’s the more better for it. Especially on the final two songs – Dead End and Ghost Town – which had me nodding and singing in agreement.

The production and overall sound of the album is excellent and allows Aphasia to be quite a load and action-packed album indeed. Aphasia has a cool and addictive warm glow to it and feels more like an album you would listen to in the summer with your buddies along with a few beers as well.

Overall, Stonus have released a superbly entertaining record that will hopefully enhance their reputation within the Stoner Rock/Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Stonus, Qabar PR and Daredevil Records for the promo. Aphasia will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Daredevil Records / Electric Valley Records from March 06th 2020.