STONELAKE – Uncharted Souls

STONELAKE - Uncharted Souls
  • 1/10
    STONELAKE - Uncharted Souls - 1/10


Release date: March 28, 2008

User Review
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StoneLake was formed a few years ago from the ashes of eighties bands such as Whiteflight, and later Perfect Stranger and Doctor Blue. StoneLake is the result of Whiteflight guitarist Jan Åkesson and singer Peter Grundström deciding to get back together.

The outcome, at least on Uncharted Souls, the band’s fourth work, is a most disjointed one. Granted, very seldom does a “perfect” album come along, if indeed such a thing even exists, from a philosophical standpoint… probably not. The striking thing though when it comes to digesting this particular album, is how easy it is to pinpoint everything on there that could had been so much better. Here is an album so full of flaws it falls flatter than a drunk. The production and general sound of the work is hopeless, especially the guitars which comes across like a mob, trying desperately to be louder than everything else on board.

The vocals of Grundström, tries to share the sonic landscape alongside the guitars and be heard – which unfortunately it does, albeit not as much as the guitars. Why unfortunate, then? Well, the voice sounds strained almost without exception. Then we have the drum work which, of what can be heard with effort, sounds jaded for the most part. Whether the bass making a clumsy impression is a direct result of this is up to anybody’s guess. Somewhere in the fog that is the guitars and painstaking vocals, keyboards are present as well, but it doesn’t take long to give up hope on this extremely unpleasant listening experience, and they only come really hear able during the ballad “Glory Days” which features poor whistling to boot, so there is always some amusement to be had with this release.

The band is meant as that of Melodic Metal, but the flawed delivery and the horrible production doesn’t exactly call for the style at hand. Whatever song writing there is, it’s hard to make out as well – it’s more a case of what it’s meant to be rather than the finished thing which is a different work altogether. “Higher” is probably meant to reach another musical altitude as it nears the chorus, but as the vocals transforms from it’s general strained standpoint to shrieking it’s better to keep that volume low in order to not bring permanent damage to one’s ears.

“Rockin’ Down the Walls” is probably written as a lighthearted, fun song which it could had been, albeit for sure not in the way it was meant, had it appeared earlier on the CD; as it’s track number seven you’re likely to focus attention to whatever else. “Pain and Hunger” focuses on acoustics during the verses so at least there’s some rest to be had from the horrid guitar/vocal clash that otherwise infests the majority of the release…

Gosh, what a mess!


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