Artist:  Sandstone
   Title: Cultural Dissonance
   Label: Limb Music

This Irish power/prog band release their third album into an uncertain world.  Mixing power metal with progressive elements keeps paces with such great as Queenryche and Fates Warning.  After using their first two albums to establish themselves and move up the ladder, 'Cultural Dissonance' is now their more grown up album.  Mixing heavy metal, rock and progressive elements provides the pomp and the power needed for this brash and busy 4 piece.

The power metal element is possibly the most prevalent on the album.  From the heavy guitar intros to the steady drumbeat behind, the vocals constantly shift and change, however they stick to a middle ground for most of the time.  The guitars however, provide the most through the instrumentals and through the songs.  However, even looking for the progressive element becomes hard in some of the songs as itís not there, and they seem to favour the power metal side more, especially 80's power metal.

The songs take different themes throughout them, and this differentiation can be heard in each song.  Yet it is still tied to the guitar and vocals, not anything else.  This stops the feeling that itís a bit Ďsameyí, but there is still an element of it in it.  The very 80's sound is a reversion back to beginnings of power metal, and in some places it's more heavy than power.

I donít really have a favourite song, as in I like the whole album, primarily for the guitar work, and for when it can be heard singularly, the drum work, which is skilled but a little lacking in power in places.  Yet, 'Fading' stands out for me, primarily for the guitar solo in the middle, and also the rising timbre of the vocals against it, like a mini-power metal battle.

Review by: Kerry H


1. Reckless Thought
2. Little Forgeries
3. Fading
4. Leaning On An Arrow
5. Carefree Moment
6. Silent Suicide
7. Black Skies
8. No More
9. Sleep
10. Trick Of Mind



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