Vast, expansive progressive doom…
First released in 2015, mere months after drummer Antti Lehto passed away and now seeing a digipak release through Feuer Publications, the debut full-length of progressive doomsters Stone Ship, The Eye, is vast. With two tracks at over 20-minutes each, the Finnish four-piece are making a bold entrance, and a masterful one at that.
‘The Ship of Stone’ opens the album up, its vast expanse laid bare before us in a solitary bass line subtly decorated with fuzzed chords and gently tumbling drums. The tracks moves and grows, its immensity becoming increasingly apparent as we are lead through its dynamic design. Though it may demand much in the way of patience from the listener, the arc that the track plots is an intriguing one. The same goes for ‘The Crooked Tree’, its journey a long, interesting and captivating one. The Black Sabbath / Candlemass / Pentagram fuzzed out riffs, the piercing guitar melodies, the doom-laden passages and mystically-charged atmospherics are all enhanced by the mythological visions captured in the lyrics.
Every ounce of this weighted work has been pored over time and again. Formed in 2005, the musicians clearly know their instruments as much as they know each other’s musical idiosyncrasies. What is also apparent is that Stone Ship know when to allow the music to move forward, to find its next natural phase where it will reside until the need to move urges it on, and always seamlessly. This is not a bunch of riffs or passages stitched together to create some semblance of a whole. Far from it. There’s a fluidity to the two pieces that indicates that they’ve been laboured over long and hard until the tracks flow from beginning to end, their essence acting as their guide and their goal. With a distinctly organic feel to them, the two tracks perpetually grow and evolve, shifting and morphing from one enthralling shape into another as the band follows it through to its natural end. An impressive debut, The Eye is well worth your indulgence.
8 out of 10
- The Ship of Stone
- The Crooked Tree