STONEGARD - From Dusk Till Doom

Stonegard - From Dusk Till Doom

9 songs
35:23 minutes
***** ***


With a band name reminiscent of stoner rock and an album title making you think of doom metal, Norwegian four-piece Stonegard are finally both and much more. From Dusk Till Doom is actually a re-release of their second album which came out two years earlier in Scandinavia. To make things more interesting, the guitars and bass were newly recorded, and the CD was once more mastered by Ted Jensen (Slipknot, Machine Head). The one thing you can therefore be sure of is that you get the most perfect possible sound.

Although From Dusk Till Doom is a rather short metal album, it feels like a rollercoaster ride through the most different aspects of hard rock and metal music. Actually stoner and doom are only minor ingredients here. The band sounds very contemporary, flirting with new metal but intelligent enough to add so many other ingredients that they never sound like jumping on the bandwagon. There are even occasional bursts of thrash and black metal, where especially the latter makes sense, considering that Stonegard will be touring Europe with Enslaved later this year.

The songwriting is quite professional on the one hand, but on the other, the musicians have a hard time coming up with catchy moments, as their songs are packed full of ideas. Depending on what your expectations are, this can be a bad or a good thing. I settle for the latter. Highlight are in my opinion the genial vocals by Torgrim Torve, one of the best metal vocalist I have heard in a long time. Stonegard sometimes sound like Solitude Aeternus if the Americans dared to add more different styles to their music.

I remain with eight points for this excellent re-release which comes with a bonus CD containing video clips, unreleased demo tapes and live recordings. I have no further information detailing those contents, but can imagine that this makes From Dusk Till Doom even an interesting purchase for those few thousand Scandinavians who bought the original issue.

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