Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
LA’s Upon Stone prefer their melodeath the way it was originally played in Sweden in the early and mid-90s: equal parts classy and brutal, haggard in the vocal department, and presented with a rawer, unrefined production, at least compared to much of what came later (often by the same bands). The result is an EP that is equal parts Stigmata, The Gallery, Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds, and Lunar Strain. Also, it’s quite good.
Where Wild Sorrows Grow is 12-plus minutes of fiery tremolo lines, soloing that is both rocking and a touch sorrowful, smart uses of half-time tempos and harmonies, and a great balance between killer melodies and far heavier but still infectious riffs. There are also touches of that mid-90s flirtation with neoclassicism (mostly notably the brief interlude “A Paean”) but also a touch of manic attitude in how vocalist (and bassist) Xavier is unabashed in his forward aggression, channeling more than a little Johan Liiva. The whole EP carries the type of semi-brutal but still elegant bombast at which Arch Enemy and Amon Amarth specialized in their early days.
If all that sounds tantalizing to you, dive in without hesitation, as two of these four dudes already released a killer melodeath full length with Vaelmyst earlier this year, and if Where Wild Sorrows Grow is any indication, they aren’t limiting their talents to just one band.
Release date: October 15, 2021; Label: Creator-Destructor Records.