(Multiple listens and two months after the album’s release by Nuclear Blast, DGR now attempts to describe why the latest full-length by the Spanish prog-death band White Stones remains so fascinating.)
There are a few albums a year that I’ll fully own up to listening to and writing about here because they fascinate me. You can pinpoint those write-ups because I’ll often preface them with that exact statement. They’re albums where by the end of a long listening session I’m still not 100% sure where I stand on them, or they provide an indescribable difficulty in discussing why they continue to stick around.
Last year one of those albums was the Spanish death metal group White Stones‘ release Kaurahy. The Martin Mendez (of Opeth bassist fame) project’s first release was an amorphous number, one whose combination of folklore and prog-death sensibilities was hard to grasp on to. The darkened atmospheres and little light provided often felt like trying to kill a moth while it danced in and out of your flashlight’s beam, or like thinking you finally had a hold on a spiky ball and could grasp it only to have it turn completely smooth and move just outside your field of view again. It was, for lack of a better term, fascinating.
Not all of that album worked and it could at times come off a little samey and would blur together, yet an album that many were expecting to be a sort of prog-death masterpiece, given its pedigree, turning out to be an oddly discordant beast that was more often ugly groove than it was fully death was a surprising turn.
You can definitely find value in consistency though, and one year later the group behind White Stones return to us again, this time with an album entitled Dancing Into Oblivion, and save for a couple of notable changes it is once again a fascinating album. Continue reading »