Artist: Stone Lake 
   Title: Uncharted Souls
   Label: MusicBuyMail Records

The year is 1984 when the union of Jan Akesson and Peter Grundstrom first bore fruit with their band Whitelight, but then 3 years later Akesson left the band to form several other bands and in 1994 decided to leave the stage altogether and concentrate on write and recording at his own studio.

Fifteen years later Akesson called Grundstrom to reunite under the new moniker of Stone Lake and with two albums under their belts, the duo return with Jens Westberg (drums) and Lasse Johansson (bass) to produce and album that will show the world how Melodic Metal should be in 2008.

The resulting album is Uncharted Souls which indeed sounds fresh and vibrant and it’s clear that Akesson and Grundstrom have their feet firmly planted in the now with this awesome album that contain twelve blistering Metal monsters.

I have seen the whole Heavy Metal scene grow and fade and grow again over the years and the basis of the growth of the scene has been the sort of sound that Stone Lake have produced, but each time the sound has developed and grown in stature with each incarnation.

Heavy Metal has always been about driving guitars and pummelling bass and drums all interwoven with great vocals and huge melodies and that’s what Stone Lake have in bucket loads. From the opener and title track ‘Uncharted Souls’ I knew this was gonna be one hell of a release with its crunching guitar intro paving the way for the tremendous powerful vocals of Grundstrom, sounding like a mix between Ripper Owens and Andy Derris with the outstanding guitars of Akesson the solid ball of rock throughout the entire track.

This superb album continues with ‘Pain And Hunger’ and once again the molten melodic metal just keeps on flowing this starts of slowly but soon builds into another monster with Akesson spewing out the licks like there’s no tomorrow and Grundstrom giving us a taste of what we’ve been missing in the scene for so long.

‘(Tonight) You’re Beyond The Shadows’ again starts off with the crunching metal guitars of Akesson before the mighty vocals of Grundstrom are unleashed this one really rocks big style, then its full steam ahead with ‘Higher’ another driving guitar track from the Swedes with Grundstrom once again delivering a mighty vocal performance.

The pace of the album is slowed down a touch with the more mellow song ‘Glory Days’ complete with Orchestral arrangements to add a great atmospheric to the song.

The tempo takes a definite heavier change in direction with the massive ‘Don’t Leave Me Behind’ and the equally superb ‘Rockin Down The Walls’ before my favourite slice of Melodic Metal off the album the multi-layered masterpiece ‘Miracle’.

There are so many great tracks on this album its hard not to overstate the splendour of this album as each track unfolds I find myself falling for every one as thus this trend continues with ‘Eyes Of The World’ and the keyboard infused ‘White Flame’. The album boasts two bonus tracks firstly ‘Saint Or Evil’ a soaring huge giant of a track that just oozes class and finally ‘Wonderland’ another massive track that wraps up one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard this year.


1 Uncharted Souls
2 Pain And Hunger
3 (Tonight) Your're Beyond The Shadows
4 Higher
5 Glory Days
6 Don't Leave Me Behind
7 Rockin' Down The Walls
8 Miracle
9 Eyes Of The Worlds
10 White Flame
11 Saint Or Evil (Bonus track)
12 Wonderland (Bonus track)



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