Review – The Stone Speaks At Winter

Source: Hellride Music

HEAVYDEATH essentially pick-up where Runemagick left off. We have Nicklas Rudolfsson on guitar/vocals; Johan Bäckman on bass and Daniel Moilanen on the war drums. A triumvirate of all-encompassing Death-infused Doom from the frozen North. Both “The Stone Speaks At Winter” and the demo version of “Shadow of the Equinox” are meant to promote the upcoming release of their Sarcophagus In The Sky album.

One of the most impressive about HEAVYDEATH, is that they’re in a constant state of creation. The sheer amount of material that has been generated since its founding in 2013, is astounding. They’re juggernauts of creative and kinetic dark energy – if they aren’t in the studio, they’re writing, and when they’re not writing, they’re in the studio. The DIY output is also impressive – cassette packages and T-shirts designed by the band itself fund further output. If anyone puts “Get In The Van”-like Punk Rock ethos into Doom, it’s HEAVYDEATH.

Musically, “The Stone Speaks At Winter” is Moilanen’s baby – it’s probably the most percussion-driven output of the band yet, with Moilanen’s simple, yet hypnotic tribal pounding extremely prominent in the mix. It’s nearly 3:00 minutes of molar-shaking pounding, with Rudolfsson’s guitar set on stun and his atavistic vocals lying nicely on top of the rafter-shaking beat. At around the 3:00 minute mark, the band suddenly changes tempo, the bellicose thumping becoming feverish and even more dominant in the mix, with Rudolfsson filling the gaps between beats with a simple, yet effective primal Hellhammer-like riff. At a little over 10:00 minutes, “The Stone…” is a prime example of the unbridled Heaviness this band is capable of. Turn that thing up and feel your eyeballs levitate and vibrate in their sockets.

The second track, the demo version of “Shadow of the Equinox” is a nearly 6:00 minute journey into the heart of leaden darkness. I love how the band makes use of repetitive riffing that’s almost Shoegaze-like in trance-inducing efficacy, but infinitely heavier. The song pounds Like Slowdive on a High On Fire jag. So good, it’s the apogee between ultra-creative artistry and the primordial pull of the knuckle-dragging riff. It leaves an impression of pure gravitas long after the song fades into the distance like temple smoke.

I can give HEAVYDEATH no higher recommendation, and if you dig, please delve into the archives of material on their Bandcamp site, both digital, wearable and otheriwise. It’s priced very reasonably, and, for the discerning Doom connoisseur, I’m certain their music will be a welcome add to your collection.