Limb Music/Sound Pollution
SANDSTONE has been around since 2003. Founded by guitarist Stevie McLaughlin and singer Sean McBay they opted for their own material right from the start. Bass player David McLaughlin (yes, they are brothers) and drummer Paddy Flemming completed the line-up. First up was a debut album, “Tides of Opinion” in 2006 followed by a follow-up in 2009, “Purging the Past”. The latter was praised by no other than Bruce Dickinson of IRON MAIDEN. Now it´s time for the difficult third album, and it seems they go for progressive melodic metal. The major changes since last time is the drummer switch, Paddy´s been replaced by Dan Lafford, and Sean has taken on rhythm guitar duties. Aw well, convince me!
Opener “Reckless Thought” says Ireland not out of the game. The somewhat thrashy riff paves the way for a groovy rock/metal/speed track that is an excellent opener. The band seems tight and I believe that the second guitar did them good, as I was not so convinced by their previous album. Most annoying is the drum sound, I don´t know why they went for this wafer thin style in too many tracks. The lack of spark hampers a few tracks, in particular the rather lackluster little ballad, “Sleep”. Apart from that they often do well, especially with their 80´s style, or discretely modern-yet classical style. I see what Bruce likes too, the typical IRON MAIDEN influence has been transformed into latter day progressive IRON MAIDEN, which surely pleased the pilot. All in all SANDSTONE prove themselves worthy of a future in metal. This may not be groundbreaking, or even in the top ten list of 2011, but it´s well-done and a promising continuation of their career.
Leaning On an Arrow
Trick of Mind