The Sludge band Stonewielders has been a name to me since their demo, which was released now almost 2 years ago and had made a strong first impression on Grind. With Old Earth Gone, the combo has now released a new EP, which seems to have been hammered in during the Corona break. The 3-track strong record clearly shows that the band hasn’t slept in the meantime and besides musical development and presenting a new vocalist, they seem to have found their very own style, which they will probably continue to pursue in the future.
By the way, Stonewielders come from Bielefeld and have been active since 2018. The band consists among others of two founding members of the Black Metal band Unru and also shows overlaps with their split partner – Tongue. In this project, however, the band prefers to let off steam on fucked up Death / Doom fields.
As already mentioned, Old Earth Gone consists of three tracks. In these songs Stonewielders present themselves musically very diversified and connect their common thread only by dark atmosphere and a desolate setting. While the opener “Brass Tusk“, for example, is picked up with a driving Death / Doom, the follow-up track “Draining” delivers the atmospheric Sludge / Doom sound you’ve been used to from the band so far. Especially in the song structures you can see that Stonewielders did well to add an independent singer and more room for instrumentation. The nasty growls, which occasionally turn into shrill lamentations, fit perfectly to the concept of the band and give the sound a lot more depth, which otherwise rather started from the melodic guitar insertions and now gets much more support.
But the best track in my opinion is the 10-minute chunk “Mariana Trench“. Apart from several dystopian-looking samples, this track seems to be very massive, especially because of its seamless mixing of the best parts of both previous songs, which in my opinion lays the foundation for where Stonewielders should go on an album.
Up to now Old Earth Gone has been published exclusively digitally via Bandcamp as a free download. If, when and especially in which format you can expect a physical release remains to be seen and will be added here at the next opportunity.
Even though the sound of Stonewielders mainly goes in the direction of sludgy Death/Doom Metal, the band can’t quite hide their roots in Black Metal and also underlay the sound on Old Earth Gone with a dark atmosphere. If you are currently looking for slow and heavy Metal music that comes in a dystopian setting in which you can get lost, you should definitely risk an ear.