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The Stone Angels - 'Spirit, Love & Higher Meanings' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e0/14/25/the-stone-angels-spirit-love-and-higher-meanings-67-1520888012.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2018    
 
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Most likely for fans of Alternative Soft Rock or Electronic-based Rock.

A name like 'Spirit, Love & Higher Meanings' conjures up themes of the supernatural, spirituality and mysticism. Certainly the album's heavy focus on synth sounds provides a shimmering, other-worldly quality, but the invigorating energy you might expect is lacking.

The anchor of The Stone Angels' debut is founding member Dan Hughes (guitar and vocals). His monotonous vocals add to the draining quality of the songs; it is hard to enjoy 'Come Alive' when the song is simply such a struggle to get through. 'Escape' is more melodic, making good use of building up to a polyphonic sound with gentle cymbal clashes and harmonies, yet it still seems to drag its feet.

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More upbeat tracks include 'Take Me' and 'Have Mercy On Me'. Hughes' guitar style varies in heaviness but the songs inevitably fall into the same tone by the time you reach each chorus. Some synth sounds make nice additions and the Jazzy bursts in 'One Track Mind' also make a nice contribution for example, but across the whole album the reliance on synthesisers seems to steal shades of colour from the album as the tracks merge and blend.

'Fragments' is more conventional in its Soft Rock opening, until the vocals and synth sounds hit and it seems to be pulled in several directions, none of them clear or dominant. The latter half of the album is slightly stronger; 'I Wonder' and 'Valley Of Kings' are two of the catchier tracks whilst 'Fire Within' thrives on Sam McIver's bass line and has hints of Muse about it.

There are some interesting ideas here but I found very little spirit in the delivery or song-writing of this album. Most likely for fans of Alternative Soft Rock or Electronic-based Rock.

Sophie Brownlee

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