Back with their third album, the Marseille-based band seem to have issues with keeping drummers, and yet again they have had to use a session musician for their latest release. That’s a shame, as one wonders what they might do if that position was as stable as the rest of the band. Formed as long ago as 2002, the remaining quartet have been together since 2010 and in singer Franck “Kanon” Ghirardi and rhythm guitarist Seb “Cazu” Casula they still have two founder members (the line-up is completed by bassist Lionel “Beev” Antonorsi and lead guitarist Bob “Flying” Saliba). What we have here is Blind Guardian-inspired power metal, which also includes a serious dose of NWOBHM. In many ways this is what heavy metal was all about before it became splintered and full of so many different styles. This is five musicians plugging in and creating one hell of a racket. There are times when Kanon obviously feels he should be in a band like Rhapsody, going right up the scales into the ether, but for much of the time he seems content to sift between singing and banshee-style screaming.

The album was mixed by Roy Z, who also added his own touches by providing a solo on ‘The Earther”, with the drum seat this time round being filled by Franky Costanza (ex-Dagoba). Old fashioned early-Eighties heavy metal, with some later Teutonic influences, this is the sort of album which makes an old metalhead smile. While not essential by any means, it certainly is a blast through old school.

Rating: 7/10

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/stonecastmetal/
https://www.pitchblackrecords.com/

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