It’s easy to feel nervous when someone suggests you listen to a French band, heavily influenced by Manowar, but you have to admire anyone who can write songs like these and Stonecast are no exception.
Releasing their debut in 2009, the band have spent the bulk of the last 4 years gigging and honing their craft, the result of which is found here on Heroikos showcasing how much their songwriting has grown and matured from the sprawling opener “Jakuta” to short musical interlude “Elysian Winds” and the folk-like, almost medieval “Kings Unborn”.
“Triumph” sees guitarists Seb Casula and Bob Saliba really let themselves go, as they conjure up bone cracking riffs and some incredible lead breaks, while the rhythm section of Lionel Antonorsi on bass and Kenny Earl, former Manowar drummer, remain solidly in sync throughout.
Whilst not having anything to do with the Game of Thrones theme tune “Of Fire and Ice” is another fine example of how Stonecast appear to be trying to out-warrior all of the leaders in the Warrior Metal genre, singer Franck Ghirardi hitting notes that could incite a canine community to revolution.
That isn’t to say Franck is all about shattering your glassware, his range also includes vocals low and guttural enough that they hover around Death Metal territory, a trick particularly showcased on “Gods of Dust”.
Album closer “Savage Princes”, with its stop-start intro and unholy choir vocals, is a great punctuation mark for the record and very difficult to not nod your head to, even coming with it’s own big crash ending.
Although I don’t often listen to this particular sub-genre of metal, I certainly didn’t hate it and feel that the right tour support slot could lead to the right festival appearances, which in turn could get these guys quite a tidy headline tour of their own towards the end of the year and then there’s no reason why Stonecast couldn’t become quite popular here in the UK.