Carved in Time
Metal maestros Stonecutters rip through their latest record Carved in Time like a pack of starving beasts that were just released from their cages. Each song fucking rips with rockin’ riffs, bangin’ drums and raspy vocals, all while putting their own unhinged mark on what has become an all too familiar heavy rock and roll recipe.
Perhaps what separates this record from other like-minded bands is their focus on gritty, heavy as shit riffs while not giving in to too many of the stale, metal stereotypical that we’ve all become desensitized to. Don’t get me wrong, Stonecutters is absolutely a heavy metal band, and Carved in Time is very much a heavy metal record, but the band never leans to hard on a crutch making the band more unpredictable, ultimately making for one of the better records from the genre I’ve heard in quite a while.
The production alone throughout Carved in Time gives the record it’s own identity — the overall sound manages to be fucking enormous without coming across as overly theatrical, mostly backed by the wall shaking drums providing the backbone for each brain rattling track. I can appreciate that these guys opted to abandon the classic punchy sound that so many metal bands utilize, dismissing the bigger, almost tribal sound that literally banging my chest like King Kong while sitting at my cubicle.
My favorite song might be the second track “Wealth and Power” which midway through features a righteous harmonized duo guitar riff that would fit in easily on the original Castlevania NES soundtrack if it were reduced to 8-Bit. The song kind of reminds me of early Cave In if early Cave In had had more of an abrasive, barbaric energy — perhaps its that essence that elevates their music into a separate stratosphere from similar troupes. Another standout is “Stitched” which continues the horror vibe by opening with a sampled quote from the classic horror film Bride of Frankenstein, then quickly getting underway as a badass slow-chugger that evolves into an uptempo thrash rocker.
While I’m not suggesting that Stonecutters have re-invented heavy metal, they’re definitely making it more interesting. It’s easy to broadly recommend this to fans of all subgenres — grind lovers, thrash enthusiasts, and death metal devotees will all be satisfied in one way or another with Carved in Time. Listen to the record below via Bandcamp, or stream it on any and all of your favorite streaming platforms. The record is also available on vinyl (yes please!).