Stonebride
Heavy Envelope


4.1
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
December 23rd, 2014 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your holiday stoner fix.

Four years have lapsed since Croatian band Stonebride unveiled Summon The Waves to the world. Improving their sonic formulas while adding psychedelic touches too, the album helped cement their reputation as one of the most unpredictable stoner acts at the time. Since then, people have anxiously waited for a follow-up and finally, it saw the light of day right at the end of 2014. Heavy Envelope is quite the opposite of its predecessor in terms of length and direction. Clocking in at only 32 minutes, it also feels more immediate and easier to digest.

You might think "I've waited four years for half an hour of rock?', yet after a couple of careful listens you'll find yourself realizing it is just enough. Stonebride packed dozens of grooves into shorter tunes that became entire journeys this way. Take for example 'Movies, Movies' or 'Sokushinbutsu': the former is a QOTSA meets Mastodon hybrid, where these guys constantly switch gears and the whole thing sounds like a musical rollercoaster. You get sludgy riffs with lots of variations and solos that all end up with the pile driving coda. Meanwhile, 'Sokushinbutsu' follows a similar direction, going all the way from the militant drum intro to syncopated rhythms, laid back melodic breaks and a slow, doom-like finale. At this point it becomes quite obvious the band has put a lot of time and thought into these tracks as they are some of their best so far.

Luckily, these guys kept some of the lush tones and hazy melodies, occasionally inserting them throughout Heavy Envelope. Unfortunately, they are rather infrequent compared to Summon The Waves, however, this isn't necessarily a drag, as they deliver the hard grooves with the same proficiency. 'Lay Low' makes best use of these bipolar constructions, revealing first the bludgeoning main riff, only to fall into a lovely chorus that is the catchiest moment on the record. As usual, the vocals work really well over the riffs and have always been a focal point, even though they tend to let the instruments work their magic more often. Same goes for 'Venomous', the most straightforward song here. It follows similar patterns yet when the slide guitar towards the end kicks in, it takes an unexpected turn. It has that Old West feel and I wish they further expanded that section, to become closer in mood to previous LP closer, 'Silver Ship'. On the other hand, 'Coloured Blue' is the shiniest cut on the album and the one that owes most to Rated R-era Queens Of The Stone Age. Still, consider it more like a fun tribute rather than a copy of the sound.

I was expecting a great album from these guys, but they have surpassed all expectations. Heavy Envelope rapidly unfolds at such a short length, still it lures you back for multiple listens. Stonebride are at an all time high and I advise you to purchase this effort, it's well worth the money and time.



s
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user ratings (15)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Awesome album, every stoner/psychedelic fan must give this a spin!



Bandcamp stream - http://stonebride.bandcamp.com/

Youtube playlist - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6ll691kXuZLxgLyZO8nWFb9ZN2uw_MT6

Digging: Donny Benet - Mr. Experience

greg84
Emeritus
December 23rd 2014


7631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It sounds like a cross between QOTSA and Alice In Chains.

Digging: Dope Body - Home Body

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

The vocals echo Alice In Chains. Still, I hear some Mastodon traces on Movies Movies with all the changes and chugs, or am I wrong?

greg84
Emeritus
December 23rd 2014


7631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

True, but the vocals echo Alice all the time. Good riffage.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Yes. Too bad it was released so late in the year, it missed a lot of year end lists.

Mad.
December 23rd 2014


4804 Comments


This looks interesting, great write-up Raul. I will be sure to check it out

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

The album is really good Mad, a must listen IMO!

WatchItExplode
December 23rd 2014


8103 Comments


Not a Greg review...color me surprised.

Cactupuss
December 24th 2014


52 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there are some cool riffs in there for sure

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Greg's rating disappointed me.

greg84
Emeritus
December 24th 2014


7631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know, Raul. For me this album sounds too derivative for its own good. The songwriting is fine, but not spectacular. People really should check out Gozu or Lo-Pan instead of this.

Mad.
December 24th 2014


4804 Comments


This is pretty damn good stuff, wish it hit some higher / more unique heights though, the band clearly have that potential

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I found this just as good as Colossus or The Fury Of A Patient Man. If you take them like that neither Lo-Pan or Gozu are breaking any new grounds. They're just groovy fun, but nothing new. (I'm not ranting, I love their albums, I'm just being objective)

osteporosis
December 25th 2014


562 Comments


i saw these guys when they opened for truckfighters. i insta-bought their cd because holy crap these guys sound good live.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2014


5093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I saw them a couple of years ago and did the same lol. That Sunn the guitar player uses is fucking loud and sounds so good!

SharkTooth
December 26th 2014


14150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

checking this out right now, pretty cool stuff

CameronLaD
December 27th 2014


202 Comments


Perfect length for a release like this, any longer and it completely loses my attention. These guys
absolutely crush it.

tempest--
December 28th 2014


20634 Comments


need to check it out, sounds rad

RVAHC13
December 28th 2014


826 Comments


Loving this right now!

Underflow
December 30th 2014


4872 Comments


This was alright, but I'm not hearing anything special here.



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