Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stone Magnum - From Time...To Eternity

Being a thrash enthusiast, I’ve always struggled to get into doom. It takes a very special release for me to really enjoy doom, and aside from Black Sabbath, those albums are few and far between. As you may have already guessed, Stone Magnum’sFrom Time…To Eternity” is most definitely an impressive doom album. The cover art will draw you in, but the music will keep you spinning this record.

The album kicks off with the title track, which is one of the songs that are truly slow throughout a portion of the track (“Uncontained” being the main other one). Immediately the guitar tone will jump out as being eternally heavy. This is a prime example of how slow music can be far heavier than faster songs. This track gives room for vocalist Nick Hernandez to shine. He has a very classic traditional doom sound, not unlike you would expect from bands like Candlemass. The slow, churning riffs also give the bass room to breathe. While this opener is undoubtedly a great track, the first highlight is the next song, “Lonely God”. The only way to describe the main riff of this song is rocking. It is very simple, but much like Sabbath’s riffs, very effective. “Lonely God” also features the best guitar solo of the record, and is probably my favourite song overall (though it is challenged by the Iommi-like groove in the first solo on “In The Garden of Beasts”). The other major highlight on “From Time…To Eternity” is “By An Omen I Went”. I’ve already mentioned Sabbath a couple of times, but this song truly captures the essence of those classic Sabbath riffs (particularly from the “Vol. 4” era). There’s a fantastic groove on this track, and all of the elements click well.

Perhaps what surprised me most about this album (and should be attributed to my lack of doom knowledge) is how uptempo it could get at times. As mentioned earlier, “Uncontained” is one of the slowest songs on the album, but it eventually breaks out into a faster pace. The speed certainly doesn’t rival any thrash bands, but it doesn’t need to. It provides contrast to the sluggish pace of the remainder of the song. “Uncontained” is not the only track to deliver faster moments, but it is probably the best, as by the end of the song, it truly feels “Uncontained”. Interestingly, “In The Garden of Beasts” takes a more traditional approach to speed, as it sometimes features tremolo picking and what sounds like double bass drumming. Nevertheless, the song doesn't feel out of place on the record, and is an excellent closer. Overall, “From Time…To Eternity” was a huge surprise for me. If this album can convince someone is not a huge fan of doom metal, fans of the genre will absolutely love it.

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"Lonely God"
"By An Omen I Went"

Final Rating
4.3/5 or 86%. 

Written by Scott