White Stones - Kuarahy

White Stones Kuarahy cover
White Stones
Nuclear Blast
White Stones are a band for which you’d probably blissfully unaware; should their debut have not come out on one of the largest record companies out there due to the fact that their Uruguayan mastermind & bassist Martin Méndez is the second longest serving member of Opeth bar their vocalist.
With his meal ticket, lost down the corridors of 3rd rate Genesis worship, Méndez goes for a rather predictable melodic death metal, not entirely unlikely Opeth of old, prior to going for purely clean vocals. The eastern tinged intro that bears the title of the album is a nice piece, but probably throws a curveball as to what one might expect, since “Rusty Shell”, all rhythmical and growly, goes for a proto Lost meets mid Opeth vibe.
“Worms” has a nice bass line and an okay riff, but it doesn’t manage to diversify itself too much, tempo wise, although it manages to one up its predecessor.
Drowned in Time” has some interesting melodic that work on an undercurrent level and again a nice riff, but it sounds instrumentally, I dunno weak… the bass is kind of ok, but guitars sound as loud as the fart of a dying man… is that a great tone?!
“The One” manages to improve a little soundwise, but feels like a dog chasing its tail, with its cyclical rhythms.
“Guyra” has slightly better dynamics on its own, but again the tempo of the album is stuck in the middle, with the occasional riff grabbing attention, but the overall m.o. becoming tiresome, real fast.
“Ashes” shows some promise and is probably one of the more menacing tunes here, but other than the guttural vocal, the almost saccharine melodies are almost diabetes inducing… I really hated Opeth when they introduced softer, acoustic passages etc., as if it were a big deal and similarly I still feel puritanical about my death metal. I want it to be obliterating, menacing and wild, not like this watered down BS.
“Infected Soul” shows again some promise and even a nice riff, but doesn’t manage to build much further on the strength of that, rather going through the motions like too many songs before it, just managing to be a bit more jumpy and all.
These songs still manage to excel and sustain their own identity without overstaying their welcome. The formidable growls of frontman Eloi Boucherie feature shades of Åkerfeldt’s once mighty roars and he delivers a strong performance. Meanwhile, Méndez creates his own authoritative stamp on the material, not only reconnecting with his deathly roots but adding some exotic traces of his rich cultural heritage into the concoction. For the most part though, it’s playful, sturdy Scandinavian-styled death that White Stones deal in, with frequently enjoyable results.
“Taste of Blood” sort of mixes that with a little more aggression and more hellish vocals for one of the more enjoyable, albeit a little chaotic moments of the album, but at this point, anything would work, if it were to wash away the boredom that more than half a dozen of tracks had allowed to set in.
Lastly, “Jasy” is an atmospheric outro, which is not bad, but feels more incidental than anything else, not somehow feeling like it follows up the rest of the tracks on the album in terms of mood.
Average melodeath metal band that will try and appeal to Opeth fans. Not too impressive.