Ireland's Sandstone returns with their fourth album, Delta Viridian, which is also my first experience with the band. It's been a very good one at that. Sandstone has the uncanny ability to blend several styles of music to create their sound.
The foundation of Sandstone's music is basic melodic heavy and power metal. Then these chefs stir in the groove of hard rock, the intrigue of progressive rock, and even some symphonic notes as on Monument to the musical stew.
The result is rather creative and entertaining material and, perhaps even better, music that creates expectation. You want to hear more, what's going to come in the next song and the one after that. It's a characteristic that can be elusive to any band, any album.
For instance, after a brief instrumental intro, Almost Grateful begins as melodic power metal, only to move into some prog metal about two-thirds in. King of Cipher finds that hard rock groove and turns on an excellent, and catchy, vocal arrangement in the chorus. Later with Red Mist, Sandstone returns to the progressive power metal once more, driven by some impressive drum work by Decky Donohoe. Then Promise Me fools you. It has this light guitar start, then bursts into a gallop of power metal, and rounds out with a stinging guitar solo. Monument follows this, which can only be described as metal hymn or anthem, made to feel lofty thanks symphonic atmosphere. It's also a nice showcase for Sean McBay's melodic vocal style.
And so it goes. More could be written about more of the songs. Suffice it to say that this only a hint of waits for the listener within Delta Viridian. Yet, a final mention should be made of the final track Vitruvian Man, another good example of Sandstone's melodic progressive power metal and perhaps the signature track here. (With the possible exception of Monument, which is hard to beat). It features guest vocals from Tim 'Ripper' Owen, whom the band provided support on his 2012 European tour.
Essentially, and simply, Sandstone's Delta Viridian is a fine, entertaining, and engaging album of melodic progressive power metal. Very recommended. Get it.
Essentially, and simply, Sandstone's Delta Viridian is a fine, entertaining, and engaging album of melodic progressive power metal. Very recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]