The Stone – Kruna Praha
1. Smrt za Kralja!
Label: Mizantropeon Records
I am a fan of The Stone for quite a few years now and when I look back, I think the thing that amazes me the most is their ability to grow and progress. Every chapter is an independent piece fitting perfectly in their world of obscurity and misanthropy.
Their upcoming Ep “Kruna Praha” is no exception! After the monstrous achievement such as “Teatar Apsurda” I could hardly wait to see what these masters of the black arts will do next.
The cover caught my attention at first, although nothing new in the sea of the album art, it is different from what usually resembles the bands message. Instead of “Nekroza” or “Teatar Apsurda”, where evil twists into horrific form, here it symbolizes the poison that rots a person from within.
Musically, I would describe it as an extension of the previous record with the elements of 2014. “Nekroza”. The opening track titled “Smrt Za Kralja!” starts with the distinct guitar intro that fans of Deathspell Omega will enjoy. Mixed carefully, layer upon layer, making the riffs sound extreme yet (for the lack of a better word) psychedelic. Kozeljnik has once again reminded us that creativity is important as technique. Being used to Nefas, I have to admit, before listening to the material I was concerned that Glad’s vocal would taint the experience. But, from the very first verse it felt organic! Vocal range and the ability to match it with the overall crushing atmosphere are maybe even more noticeable in “Phosphorous Spectre”. Lyrically, they remain true to themselves with a natural change in style. Second song, “Kruna Praha” shows the band’s more brutal side. Pounding drums, “out of control” vocal and shredding guitar riffs pretty much describe this song. “Phosphorous Spectre” starts off with the same intensity but takes into a different direction. At one point, this thrash metal influenced song starts to obtain even more heaviness. First association was the song “Nekroza” where the flow takes us from brutally crushing to doom like atmosphere. Being used to the usual aggression that black metal brings, this factor is something you start to appreciate later on. EP finishes of with two well-known songs, “Atiutopija” and “The Golden Cadaver”, both of which will finally be released on a digipack CD edition.