Stonecreep - Tonight We Ride
American band Stonecreep have a great amount of force within them that they unleash on their five-track album. The band that hails from Fargo, North Dakota was formed in 2001 and has shared stage with numerous established names like: Entombed, Metal Church, Nevermore, Six Feet Under and Cannibal Corpse to name just a few. So consequently when you look at those names, it does not come as a surprise that Stonecreep sound as they do.
With Stonecreep, we are basically dealing with pure thrash metal, both in an American way as well as with a Scandinavian approach. You have the heavy and rough riffing complete with a great balance with superb harmonies and leads. As well as there are Slayer and good old Metallica vibes representing the American part of their thrash, you can sense their influences from the Scandinavian parts. Just as there can be as fast and furiously melodic as Children Of Bodom you can hear that they also share somewhat the feeling for aggressive and melodic metal with the Gothenburg sound like Dark Tranquillity and In Flames. Nevertheless, their greatest strength is with the harmonies from guitarists Matt Litton and Aaron Mullaney who sometimes come close to great parts that only Iron Maiden can create.
First track Tonight We Ride goes forward with pounding drums and brilliant guitars creating a thrash groove and it's a track in the vein of Children Of Bodom meets Iron Maiden. Disembodies Voices keeps the intriguing guitars but the vocals from Matt Litton are not as good when he is not screaming his lungs out, and when they add a bit of metal core rhythms it further makes this track falling out of frame. Spiritual Inferno is a mid-tempo track with guitars reminding me of early Metallica and with a dirty sounding groove that can be traced to Corrosion Of Conformity. The vocal parts are sadly also dragging this track down since in those parts the music feels strained and the song loses its flow. But just like every other track on this album the guitars are brilliant, and the harmonies and leads are nailed perfectly.
Insurrection is in my opinion the better track here. The vocals are back to the aggressive kind again and Slayer sounding guitars kick this song into action before it turns into great melodic sounding thrash. The last track, that is a demo version of a song called Born Into The Grave, separates itself from the others not least with the sound that is of demo quality but the song is also harder and darker. It is more aggressive and sometime comes borderline close to death metal.
Stonecreep is a good band but is not quite there with
song writing. I think that they should focus more on the aggressive
parts in their music and keep up with the things that they have going
in the track Insurrection. The vocals from Matt Litton are best suited
when he puts aggression in it and the music is going fast. The rhythm
section with the drums and bass is doing great with laying out a solid
base for the guitars, which is what separates Stonecreep from the other
bands. The harmonies and leads are of the kind that you only want more
of, but with a couple of tracks here you wished for them to be in a