Wiszdom Stone – Wiszdom Stone

The opening track of this EP reminds me EXACTLY of another, equally unknown band: Poseidons Anger out of Colorado, with just a hint of glam influence. It has that band’s staunchly oldschool sound, with more than one foot in the ’70s. It’s fantastic and daring, if not somewhat deceptive; while the rest of the material on Wiszdom Stone’s debut EP does have some that very oldschool influence, it’s in general much more modern. See the very next track: ‘Without Faith’ is like a slow Blind Guardian track, with lush layers of symphonic and electric instruments backing up a powerful yet raw vocal performance. Every track here is actually pretty magnificent (well, maybe not ‘The Blade’; it feels like they said “We just HAVE to put a straightforward power metal song with clean female vocals in despite the fact that it doesn’t fit at all with the other material on this CD!”), and this debut’s strength lies in its restraint; the music is best when plugging away in a slow and deliberate fashion with catchy, melodic riffs and vocal lines.

I suppose Wiszdom Stone reminds me most of a blend of Virgin Steele and Fireaxe. They possess the former’s sense of drama and theatricism, but with the strong, slowly unfolding quality of the latter. The vast majority of the material on this EP is slow to midpaced, grandiose, US-style power metal right out of the Jag Panzer school, which means it’s most certainly melodic, but nowhere near lacking in real heaviness and aggression. The songs unfold in a very patient fashion, beginning simply and stacking on elements deliberately for a massive climax at the finish. Structurally, Wiszdom Stone actually reminds me a good deal of Amon Amarth; epic and vast but with a sort of humility and restraint. There’s nothing particularly self-indulgent about this music, and I think that the casual feel of it stems from an influence from traditional heavy metal rather than Euro-style power metal. It’s a good sound; one which doesn’t insist itself upon you and is instead secure in its own skin. The excellent, high-level studio production just makes it that much better, with a full, robust sound that really gives the powerful music the style it deserves.

For a debut, this is a pretty excellent and professional release. Along with many new bands that are going for the oldschool style of USPM, Wiszdom Stone are a very good project that seems to be going in the right direction. They have a great grasp of songwriting, structure, production, and playing, and I see no real flaws with what they’re doing at this moment. I’m very eager to hear an LP from these guys soon, and all the fans of Jag Panzer and similar artists should most certainly pick this up soon. I’ve probably listened to it fifteen times so far, and I don’t think that rate is going to slow down anytime soon.

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~ by noktorn on December 6, 2007.

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