SANDSTONE - Purging The Past

Sandstone - Purging The Past

12 songs
55:56 minutes
*****
Limb Music

Bandpage

Sandstone are band from Nothern Ireland shuttling somewhere between melodic and progressive metal. The quartet started in 2003 and released their debut Tides Of Opinion in 2006. Three years later it’s time for the successor Purging The Past. As Bruce Dickinson is calling this band one of the most promising acts from the green island, I was of course very anxious about having a listen.

Unfortunately my expectations were soon undone, because Sandstone quickly proved themselves to be just another average hard rock band which is neither bad nor really anything special. The songs are all played and arranged quite decently, but somehow lack the necessary punch. Even when the band decides to play faster, a stale aftertaste remains stays because of their lack of edginess. You have to remain patient until the fourth track Son Of Carthage where the band finds its form, making this also the CD’s highlight. The Road To Guantanamo with its parallels to Iron Maiden also manages to please with its excellent guitar work. Unfortunately this is followed by the rock ballad Y that takes us quickly back to grim reality. Other mentionable tracks are Enigma and Happy Birthday, but there are just too few highlights on this rather long album. Kudos go out to vocalist Sean McBay whose excellent performance reminds at times of Psychotic Waltz’s Buddy Lackey.

Sandstone still lack the maturity that allows them to remain interesting throughout a longplayer. Despite some sunny moments, there is too much shadow on Purging The Past, making it hard to listen to it in one piece. The guys had better work on their songwriting in the future.

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