Stone Circle - 'A Forest Dark'
Originality 8.1
Lyrics 7.8
Replay Value8
Instrumentation 8.3
Overall Impact 8.1
What We Liked
  • Beautiful Guitar Tones
  • Expansive Structures
8.1Overall Score

Brighton’s Stone Circle are one of the UK metal scenes best kept secrets, a progressive death metal band at heart the band meld together a vast array of influences to create an extremely promising E.P. Based on ‘The Brothers Grimm tales’, it is a story that is at times beautifully delicate yet monstrously heavy. Their constant and well placed shifts in sound create a weaving tapestry between every section and every song.

Opener ‘Bones’ has a groove akin to tech metal pioneers Tesseract, its riff pummels your neck muscles with its repetitive slams. The execution of tempo changes seems effortless as they stop and start in scatter gun fashion. The major melodies and powerful clean vocals also shine on this release, perfectly contrasting their death metal backbone.

‘Without Hands’ starts with a thundering riff that twists and turns unexpectedly across the fretboard before welcoming some sparkling clean guitars and a wonderfully emotive blues guitar solo. The journeys they take the listener on are so immersive, no matter how long the song they still grab your attention with every second. ‘Possession’ is no different, offering a similarly darkened winding road of measured chaos. The instrumental ‘Riddled’ is a luscious finger picked acoustic breather that further showcases the diversity boasted by this band.

They have always consistently span a great yarn and it cannot be long until they give us not just a breakthrough album but a truly great one. If you’re tired of Opeth’s 70’s prog homages then this is a must listen for you.

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