STONELAKE – Monolith (2013)

STONELAKE - Monolith (2013)


Swedish rockers STONELAKE formed back in 1999 and although “Monolith” is their 6th album, as far I know the band never reached a remarkable success beyond Scandinavia.

This new release surely will do a name for themselves worldwide as it’s a strong and really well crafted recording.

Stonelake’s style combines modern Euro Hard Rock and classic Melodic Metal with instant and easy melodies, some catchy choruses and tight, clean instrumentation yet quite heavy in places.

The songs in “Monolith” are melodic and powerful but they have the ability to intercalate into the intense thick guitar riffage some atmospheric midtempos mostly provided by, sometimes, dark keyboard arrangements.

In places, Stonelake style seems inspired by Queensryche heavier era, as the hard rock / melodic metal overtones are spiced with hard-progressive touches. Yet, this band is more direct and accessible in their songwriting.

Singer Peter Grundstrom has a raspy throat able to reach the stratosphere with high pitch vocals when given the opportunity, but the major highlight on the CD is the fabulous and creative guitar playing from Jan Akesson, who pulls out all the stops throughout each track, leading the charge with hard-nosed and powerful riffs, while adding interesting melodious solos here and there.

“Monolith” is a solid and interesting release by these Swedes, efficiently mixing classic styles with a modern, compact sound. Ten songs and 45 minutes is the right run for this kind of music and Stonelake smartly overlaps this trap.

The overall sound has something sharp and mysterious but with easy choruses making the audition a joyful experience. Production is quite massive, with rich multi-track layers giving air to the songs and melodies.

I should mention that “Monolith” proves there can be something different released in the Euro metal-related field these days, effective and interesting.

01. Fanatical Love

02. You Light The Way

03. End This War

04. With Someone Like You

05. Double Life

06. Hater

07. Will You Be Loved

08. In A Freezing House

09. Notorious

10. Desolation

Peter Grundstrom: Vocals

Jan Akesson: Guitars, Background Vocals

Lasse Johansson: Bass

Annika Argerich: Keyboards

Fredrik Joakimsson: Drums

STONELAKE - Monolith (2013) back cover


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