Wednesday 1 November 2023

Stone Nomads - ...At The Gates Of Solitude (Album Review)

Release Date: October 19th 2023. Record Label: Gravitoyd Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl.

...At The Gates Of Solitude - Tracklisting

Post Apocalyptic Winds


Blackened Paradise

The Tempter


Upon The Hands Of Gods


The Void That Remains



Jon Cosky - Guitar/Vocals

Jude Sisk - Bass/Vocals

Esben Willems - Drums

Kyle Thomas - Guest Vocals on The Tempter


Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Stone Nomads have really aimed big for their second album "...At The Gates Of Solitude" with the band employing a more monolithic and thick Doom Metal sound. I was surprised to see MONOLORD's drummer and destroyer of worlds Esben Willems join their ranks for this album and he brings his usual "A" game to Stone Nomads sound. However, Jon Cosky (Guitar/Vocals) and Jude Sisk (Bass/Vocals) still remain within the band and they bring a sense of gritty realism to their Heavy Doom/Stoner Metal sound that's boosted buy a fitting seedy Sludge Metal attitude.

The opening two songs of Post Apocalyptic Winds and Frigid offer a subtle style of Doom Metal with that modern Atmospheric Stoner/Sludge groove with flashes of Classic Heavy Metal that allows the band to play full on Thrash Metal solos with a hint of eerie Psych Rock. The songs remain an objective style of Occult Rock with a despairing level of gloominess with Stone Nomads playing with a more theatrical outlook especially within the lyrics they've written for this track.

Third track Blackened Paradise does offer a more Pitch Blackened Doom/Sludge Metal creative approach with the vocals having a slightly Demonic presence to them with a vibrant 1980's Heavy Metal/Thrash Metal attitude. The guitar solos are plentiful yet again with the elements of Proto-Doom starting to appear with flashes of Harsh Stoner Rock/Metal themes. Esben's undeniable drumming adds an unsettling cold-hearted sound to Stone Nomads with Jon's superb guitar sounds and Jude's shattering bass all cumulating with one of the heaviest standout tracks on the album.The later stages of the track does see Stone Nomads move over into Prog Metal and Post-Whatever domains with the band never losing their core creative focus.

Fourth track is a sublime cover of TROUBLE iconic classic track The Tempter with another very special guest Kyle Thomas providing vocals. Kyle Thomas even popped up providing a couple of tracks on the recenlty released new album Man In The Arena by UK Doom/Stoner Metallers The Sound Of Origin. So it's great to hear Kyle's undeniable vocals yet again with a barnstorming cover which doesn't stray too much from the original but is perhaps slower with a more deeper atmospheric edge. However, the song is wonderfully LOUD and AGGRESSIVE that sees Stone Nomads bridge the gap between the Proto-Doom Metal world of TROUBLE with their own modern day Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal sound.

Fifth track Premonition is a solitary Blues Rock/Acoustic Rock number which has a sense of gloomy Doomed Out Blues to it all. This is a different change of pace from Stone Nomads and it featues some epic Jazzy solos within its short running time. 

The second half of the album kicks off in winning style with another one of the albums standout tracks with Upon The Hands Of Gods with Stone Nomads playing styles of Classic Hard Rock, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal that feels inspired by bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy but with a more ferocious Sludgy attitude. The song allows Stone Nomads to play their wickedly entertaining style of non-stop guitar solos with that OTT theatrical edge appearing within the vocals with a fast-paced and highly energetic attitude being more intense when the Thrash Metal sounds appear.

The final three tracks Rumination, The Void That Remains and Overlords becomes more ice-cold and slightly more Doom Metal based with it's cold-hearted and cynical sound appearing within the excellent sounding instrumental seventh track Rumination. The track does have moments of pure Heavy Metal excess but Stone Nomads deliver this with absolute menacing relish which moves straight into The Void That Remains.

The Void That Remains and Overlords is where Stone Nomads become more menacing with the whole themes of the album. The lyrics are pure Heavy Metal theatre but the sludgy guitars and thrilling rhythm section brings a more nuanced feeling to the album which allows the final song Overlords to become the perfect combination of Classic Heavy Metal and Modern Day Doom/Stoner Metal with the right amount of punishing Sludge Metal grooves. The Psychedelic flavours that are added little by little allows Stone Nomads to play a more unsettling sound throughout.

"...At The Gates Of Solitude" is another welcome and sublime release for the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community to fully embrace. The record is expertly produced with the album allowing Stone Nomads the perfect opportunity the Heavy Metal world what they can deliver and this is a classic sounding Heavy Metal album in every sense of the word.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy ...At The Gates Of Solitude now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Gravitoyd Records.


Official | Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram