I often like to post things on social media about supporting local bands, so thought it time I reviewed an album belonging to Kent based band, Stone Kings. I first discovered this band through social media and have not stopped listening to their albums.
Stone Kings formed in 2010, and have had several changes in line up since. The band is now Matt (Vocals), Callum (Guitar), Dom (Guitar), Ash (Bass) & Gav (Drums). I have seen them live, and for a relatively new line up, these guys are tight! Stone Kings bring an explosive mix of heavy rock, southern metal and grunge to their sound, and it's a sound that my ears are very happy to listen to.
'From Creation to Devastation' was released in July of last year, but at that time the line up was Gregg (Vocals), Dan (Bass), Dom (Rhythm/Lead Guitar), Gary (Lead/Rhythm Guitar) and Gav (Drums).
The album opens with 'Creation' an instrumental track, which has gentle easy listening tones, which builds slowly, into a heavier melodic lead.
'Far Out' is the next track, and starts with drum beats before the sludgy fuzz of the guitars start up. Gregg's grunge-like vocals kick in. The song has a Stone Temple Pilots & Alice In Chains feel throughout. 'Far Out' is a punchy alt rocker with a raw sound reminiscent of the 1990s Seattle scene.
Next up is 'Headshot', and my favourite song on the album. A guitar driven hard rocker, this track has a slow to mid tempo, with a groove laden heavy bass line. The mid section jam builds up into a soaring guitar solo.
'Outcast' has more of a metal sound to it. It's heavy and growly, with riffs and distortion aplenty. They make good use of vocal effects that sound like Gregg is singing through a megaphone.
'Krokodil' is a fast tempo bluesy, southern rock song with a cracking riff, tons of groove and a wonderfully melodic and rocking wah-wah infused guitar solo.
'Time Out' comes in the middle of the album and is a complete surprise and welcome change of pace after the grungier hard rock of the previous tracks. A dark haunting melodic ballad, that is gentle in its approach.
"She got her foot down, 'Full Throttle', ain't nothing gonna slow her down" , and much in the same vein this album continues to produce one great track after another. 'Full Throttle' has old school rock that grooves with the best of them and once again contains superb guitar work.
Up next is 'Enemies', to my ears it resembles an early 2000's nu metal song, and whilst Gregg doesn't rap, there is that sort of rhythm in his delivery. Full of attitude 'Enemies' is a good song to unleash your frustrations to. Stone Kings yet again manage to showcase a blistering guitar solo.
'Lovelace' is a song about tragic 70s porn star Linda Lovelace and seems to recall the abusive suffered at the hands of husband Chuck Traynor. Both angry and sad, this tragic story stands up as a solid grungy track.
'Captive Audience' continues in the same vein as the rest of the album with its grungy hard rock sound, has echoes of Velvet Revolver however one thing that stands out in this track is the eastern flavours that have been thrown into the mix.
The penultimate track 'In My Place' seems to incorporate a lot of styles and influences from the Alice In Chains influenced verses, to the Limp Bizkit/Papa Roach chorus whilst throwing in sludgy Down-esque riffs.
True to their word, Stone Kings have taken us directly from Creation to 'Devastation'. The final track, another instrumental, rumbles out of the speakers and is a massive slab of thunderous, epic, heavy rock. The grooves are relentless and the energy is explosive. A super charged way to book end the album.
'From Creation To Devastation' is a solid album that wears its influences on its sleeve. If you are a fan of hard rock and grunge, you will find enjoyment in this album. It's full of groove, and a powerful rhythm section, and superb musicianship throughout. Furthermore, I recommend seeing this band live. As much as I enjoy listening to the album, this is a band that really come to life on the stage.
Stone Kings are currently working on new material with their new line up, and I can't wait to see what they produce.