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Artist: Stonecollar
Title: Trial By Fire
Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 9th April 2011
Label: Stonecollar Records

Album Review

STONECOLLAR is a band from South Africa, where they’ve made themselves distinctive by their Hard rock with some Metal sensibilities and hats off to the Classic rock sound. Unfortunately that sound is not going to make them so distinctive in Europe/USA. Sure they’re obviously very skilled and ambitious musicians, their determination to “make it” is palpable, but can that be enough? I would have wished for something in their attitude maybe to shine out as different, something more original and unexpected in their music, maybe more of their own hearts and personalities, something that would not make them sound so generic, and reaching too much into the waters of yesteryear. The strong riffs, acoustic touches, some of the more modern distortions feel like going through the motions, calculating, rather than naturally flowing. Ironically a title from one the album’s songs ‘Unnatural Selection’ feels fitting to this impression I get from listening to it... this music has more of a laboratory feel than being bled from life/being. I’m aching for them to break some goddamn rules and break out of their confines.

Having said that, it’s enjoyable for as I said they’re technically very skilled, Petersen has a great vocal which together with some other musical touches in a song here and there reminded me also of heydays of Grunge (i.e. SOUNDGARDEN), the music is well composed and ear-friendly. Lyrically they follow in the genre’s successful footsteps too... too much... The highlight for me was the balladry ‘....As the Crow Flies’, ‘Loose Cannon’ for its pure rocking out feel, great pace and though not entirely something new under the Sun, it does have more of their own personality injection. If you want a good time, go for this album for sure. If you want to hear something more original and fresh, you might have to wait for what their future offerings might bring. Personally, I’d enjoy few times of listening to it, but I’d not be parting with my money for this particular release.


01. Not For Good – 5.32
02. Trial By Fire – 5.03
03. SQT – 4.04
04. Turn A Blind Eye – 4.11
05. Poison The Well – 5.52
06. Say Your Prayers – 6.08
07. Unnatural Selection – 5.50
08. ...As the Crow Flies – 4.31
09. Loose Cannon – 5.11
10. Dying Breed – 6.36


Léshem Petersen – Vocals & bass
Sean Tait – Lead guitar
Clinton Jurgens – Rhythm guitar
Bryan Nicol – Drums

Websites /

Cover Picture



Music: 6.5
Sound: 8
Total: 7.25 / 10

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