Stoneghost: New Age Of Old Ways

Hearty, heavy debut from groove metal Londoners.

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Depending on your ‘shouty metal’ threshold, this will either be a bit much, or a welcome shot of wall-to-wall beef. For those of the latter persuasion, step inside.

Stoneghost clearly like Pantera. A lot. Not least vocalist Jason Smith – a bald explosion of vitriolic blood, guts and brutal cries, seemingly clawed from his oesophagus by Phil Anselmo himself.

This is complemented immaculately by Zakk Wylde-esque fretboard shrieks, tight blast-beats and furious crashing in the likes of Your Trigger, My Finger. It’s fast and very furious, but piqued by deliciously swaggering, bluesy-minded guitar flashes (delivered with panache by Andrew Matthews), pushing buttons for metalheads and classic rockers alike.

The Sound Remains, for example – angry and ‘metal’ as hell, but all sassy melodic riffs and grooves at the same time. And Raynardine, for all its hardcore yells and crunching dropped-down-low tuning, builds from a syncopated, almost jaunty hook. And just when things risk getting slightly mono-tonal, Third Degree changes gear with a majestic, rousing crescendo.

New Age Of Old Ways might not rewrite any rulebooks, but it puts a fresh, zingy face on treasured old grooves./o:p

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Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.