Stonebirds - Time (2LP)
Catalog number: AB001
I don't know why certain French Stoner Metal bands change their sound to a more dark, adventerous and intense sound. Wheelfall went from Desert/Stoner Metal to Post-Black/Sludge Metal and Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel recently went from Stoner Metal to a more hard-hitting Sludge/Stoner sounds. Now it's StoneBirds to venture into the darker side of Sludge/Post-metal.
StoneBirds last album released in 2015 was firmly within the Sludge/Stoner metal side of things but the band return with a heavier and more chaotic sound. As their new album, Time – feels influenced by bands such as YOB, Neurosis, ISIS (The Band) and Cult Of Luna. It's a gloomy and epic post-metal affair with StoneBirds showing a wide range of different themes and ideas buried within their music and lyrics that are held on the album.
Opening track – I – is an instrumental post-sludge/post-doom affair with the song creating a bleak and sombre mood.
Second track – Sacrifice – is packed full of epic sludgy sounds that drift from Neurosis sludge/post-metal style passages to YOB doom based chants.
Third track – Blackened Sky – is a myriad of different sounds with StoneBirds playing moments of Post-Stoner, Sludge, Post-Rock/Post-Metal and shades of Psychedelic Jazzy sounds that gives the album a more dreamlike effect. The song can be very haunting and emotional at times as StoneBirds slow the mood down.
The album only moves further into heavier and darker musical territory on songs such as Only Time, Shutter Part 1 and Shutter Part 2. The final two songs Animals and II are perhaps the standout songs on the album as the band convey a sense of mysterious dread within the final sounds of the album.
Time is where you see StoneBirds full transformation into the new Overlords of Doom and Gloom. The album is beautifully produced and sounds incredible from the start. Time can be very violent at times but the album also has a soulful passionate side that you cannot ignore.
Overall this is an exquisite, brutally heavy and emotionally intense album. It simply doesn't get any better than this.
Words by Steve Howe