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Stone Healer – Conquistador Award winner

Stone Healer
Conquistador
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 February 2021, 7:32 AM

From their Facebook page, STONE HEALER is a vessel for sonic intensity and soul-driven melody created by brothers Dave (guitar, bass, vocals) and Matt Kaminsky (drums). The album contains seven tracks. “Into the Spoke of Night” opens the album. It begins with a fairly frantic pace, and some stop-and-go guitar and bass parts. The drums roll with a gallop, and the vocals are harsh. The vocals are clean after the half-way mark, and done with harmonies. A dazzling guitar solo is next, and it sprints towards the finish like a runaway train.

”One Whisper” is over eight-minutes in length. Opening with twin acoustic guitars, it settles into a slow groove, complete with cowbell. You tap your foot in response. The clean vocals and the rhythms here are totally unlike the previous track. But, it transitions without notice to a raucous sound, with audible bass slaps. The smooth, acoustic sound returns, and it’s back to the chaos until the end. “Surrender” is an eleven-minute beast. It begins with dissonant guitars and some firey rhythms. Everything is so tight, you could not squeeze in another note. The vocals toggle back and forth from cleans to harsh at the turn of a dime. It settles into another easy groove for a while, During the next passage, the band really shows their musical chops. The vocals grow angrier, then clean guitars to finish.

“Torrent of Flame” begins with some more of those smooth and easy tones. It changes with the addition of some dissonant distorted guitars. The melodies and subtle and unconventional, but they are there. The vocals are angry at first, but smooth out over time. “Twenty-Two” is a brief one-and-a-half-minute instrumental, with easy tones. But man do I love those bass guitar notes. It’s something that many bands don’t really pay attention to. “Until my Will is Gone” opens with clean and easy tones that morph to more aggressive ones a couple minutes into the song. Vocals are angry and raging, and the chord progressions are odd.

“Whence Shall I” closes the album. It begins with tight, heavy instrumental passages, and harsh vocals. The dissonance is dialed up a bit in this track. Some melodies seep into the song from the guitars. It slows towards the end. Dave and Matt are fantastic musicians. Being brothers, they already have a connection. But add music into the mix and it’s like the can finish each other’s sentences, because the music here, while odd and dissonant at times, is played with a nearly-unmatched precision. Some of the transitions are a bit sudden and unexpected, but I think that is what they are going for, using subtle melodies in their brand of Progressive music over big, bold melodies. It’s an enjoyable album that will make you marvel at their level of musicianship for sure.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. One Whisper
2. Whence Shall I
3. Surrender
4. Torrent of Flame
5. Until My Will Is Gone
6. Twenty-Two
7. Into the Spoke of Night
Lineup:
Dave Kaminsky – All Music
Matt Kaminsky – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


Rating

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Edited 05 March 2021
 

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