Stonegard - Arrows
Bells Go Clang Records
Thrashy Stoner Metal
10 songs (35:19)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

Stonegard created a lot of buzz with this, their debut Arrows. Playing a mix between stoner and thrash metal, they got hailed as the commercial metal saviours here in Norway by all the major newspapers and music magazines. They've supported Black Sabbath, and were supposed to go on tour with Enslaved this fall/winter, but cancelled due to their recent breakup.

After the calm intro, the dirty guitars smacks riff after riff in your face, while Torgrim's clear vocals stabs your ears like a dagger. He sounds like a mix between Chris Cornell and a gentler James Hetfield with a southern twist. The music is based around his vocals, which are very clear and loud in the mix. The title-track is stomping by with heavy riffs, dead accurate drumming and downright catchy vocal melodies. There is no guitar solos to be found on this record but the exciting and entertaining riffs more than makes up for it. tends to get a little poppy with lousy sing-alongs and rather dull ballads. However, there are more than enough quality songs here to cover them. Just listen too the brilliantly executed The White Shaded Lie, one of the absolute highlights here. The exciting and lurking intro bursts into a monster riff, that just makes you want to jump around throwing up the horns and sing along. It's aggressive, catchy and entertaining as hell, and Torgrim's soft shouts is as good as ever. The more bizarre, but just as cool Triggerfinger spews out more moshpit stoner riffs, and Barricades which is more on the thrashier side of life continues in the same manner. All the way the groovy guitarplaying is geared towards reinforcing Torgrim's southern fried vocals.

After the enjoyable trio, the band slows down to stoner tempo, and delivers two quality tracks that flows very naturally. Goldbar and the finisher Darkest Hour churns out rolling, dark and dirty riffs and closes a very enjoyable listen. Yes, this is a little poppy and mainstream, however, the quality songwriting and dedication from the band-members makes you forget all that and demands your attention from the first spin. This is not full of details or complex rhythms. This is plain and simple damn fun thrashy stoner metal that will rock your freakin' socks off.

Killing Songs :
Arrows, The White Shaded Lie, Triggerfinger, Barricades
Thomas quoted 83 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:52 pm
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