Genre: Doom Metal / Sludge Metal
Release Date: 26th March 2021
Label: Electric Valley Records
STONUS formed in 2015 in Nicosia, Cyprus but since 2018 they’ve been based in London. Since forming they have released two EPs (Not including this release), a couple singles and their first album ‘Aphasia’ which was set free on the world last March. They are another Stoner band brought to my attention via the medium of press release and I did think “Oh no not another one!”, but being an EP I thought that I’d give it a go. The concept behind this EP is based around all the band members not being able to meet up during the lockdown and being isolated in various places such as London, Leeds and Nicosia. Communication had to be through social mediums and also gave them time to be introspective and reflective. And by doing this they could also communicate with parts of themselves not usually conversed with, hence ‘Seance’.
On first listen of their soon to be released EP ‘Seance’ I find the sound to be same old same old. The sound is muddy fuzz driven overdrive played with trippy psychedelic drums and hazy guitar splatters. It reminds me of many other bands I’ve heard before. A quick walk around my local park had me listening to the whole EP twice over and the same phrase kept creeping into consciousness. “It’s alright, nowt to write home about here!”. It’s not a bad affair in the slightest. But nothing jumped out at me and said “Wow!” The musicianship is of high standard so I couldn't fault that. Also, it reminded me of something but I cannot quite put my finger on what it is that I’m being reminded of. The feeling of “oh, oh, that’s erm, you know, what the hell is it?” kept bubbling up from under the surface and just when I was about to verbalise it words failed me…
But then I had that “hit feeling” you get when a substance of a mind-altering nature hits you. ‘Evil Woman’ is a piece of joint toting goodness that trickles and sways its way through its duration suffused with six stringed trinkets and charms whilst ‘Messianism’ carries this theme off into that familiar BLACK SABBATH territory. Or should I say, it skirts it, the track tips its hat and then moves on into the hazy beyond. The “what the hell is it feeling” nibbles at my heals as we move on into the final track ‘El Rata’. And then the rat keeps on nibbling. But the words are still no closer to bubbling up from my subconscious pool of suppressed band names. I feel like a zip file that won’t decompress its contents. Anyway, on to El Rata. Frenetic drums punctuate all the way through this and fronted out by thrashed cymbals and smoothly spaced vocals. My mind’s eyes see a Dr Hook style cowboy hat and a rolled cigarette firmly gripped between two yellowing fingers as blue brown smoke rises in the heat of a fire up to a rig of lights above.
KYUSS! That’s it!
In conclusion I’ll say that this EP grows on you, you have to give it time. It’s one of those things where you have to let the flavours flow around the brain and mix before they do their thing. On the surface it all sounds so samey. But the personal touches allow for some separation from what you might have heard before.
01. Evil Woman
03. EL Rata
Kyriacos Frangoulis – Vocals
Pavlos Demetriou – Lead Guitars, Vocals
Nicky Ray – Rhythm Guitars, Tzouras
Kotsios Demetriades – Drums
Andreas Matheou – Bass Guitar on ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Messianism’
Total: 7 / 10