Stonecutters: Creatio Ex Nihil

Third album from old‐school‐ sounding Kentucky thrash crew

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The baroque, almost Elizabethan acoustic guitars of Infernal Diatribe, the opening track of Stonecutters’ third album, is a misleading entry point to their world of muscular metal. Led by former My Own Victim man Brian Omer, whose previous band drew on hardcore and occasionally hip hop influences back in the 90s, this Louisville, Kentucky quartet play no-nonsense thrash that’s clearly indebted to the Big Four.

In rather a big way. The vibe on the likes of Revere What Thou Hast Burned is very much that of four veterans revisiting the music that got them started, though there’s little here to differentiate Stonecutters from the thousands of other such thrash devotees of which every city in the Western world has at least a dozen.

Seekers Of The Truth almost borders on pastiche until a wailing solo saves it. When they truly bust loose – as they do on Neversummer and the apoplectic Four Pillars – we’re reminded of the pure raw thrills of metal at its most untethered, but this is still far from being a masterwork.