Alternative, Metal, News, Rock

Stoneside. – The Desert (Premiere)

Album:The Desert
Genre:Metal / Alternative
Country:USA (Texas)
Release Date:
Released viaSelf-Released
Cover Artwork ©Stoneside, 2022

Eventually, we all return to dust, that is the only constant you’re gonna get in life. Once you’re gone, all that remains is the impact you had on your beloved ones who will help keeping you alive at least in your memories. Further down the river, those who hold you tight in their memories will slowly progress towards being individual dots in the timeline and eventually it might happen that all that remains is the place that served as your final destination. Every once in a while, though, the narrative that will forever be linked to your physical presence on earth might find updraft when being told to a stranger that didn’t know you during your lifetime. This is a possibility of passing on memories in order to keep the spiritual presence of people alive.

Stoneside. from Texas felt that taking a glance back at the death of specific people might be a possibility to bring them back to life with their narrative. Thus, the idea behind this band is writing songs that find their inspiration by the true story of a specific person’s death. In death, the story of the life of those people only stays around as long as they are kept alive in memories and until they are forgotten. By resurrecting the stories and telling them, Stoneside. want to give these people life for at least a little bit longer.

During the first part of the still ongoing pandemic, Stoneside. was formed in a small town in Texas. Shortly thereafter, the first album The Water followed in 2021. The sound of this band takes elements from several genres and can roughly be described to settle somewhere between Metal and Alternative. On their upcoming 2nd full-length The Desert, the band spent one week out far west in Texas driving around tiny cemetaries and grave sites in order to find inspiration for stories of people that should find their way onto the album. The stories of these people are most importantly told in order to have the possibility of listeners learning from them, for the better or the worse always depends on personal perspective.

Single Release #3 – My Love / My Tomb


On their third single release off The Desert, Stoneside tell the story of an abductor who kidnapped a girl in Texas in 2001.

Source: CNN

The narrative is told through the eyes of the abductor who kidnapped the 11-year-old girl and eventually shot and killed himself after the girl successfully fleed from him.

On this track, Stoneside. and ex Loathe vocalist Conor Sweeney go back and forth as conflicting voices in the head of the abductor. Initially opening up very gently with clean vocals, there is a smooth progression towards the first heavier sequence that is to follow showcasing the negative thoughts in the head of the abductor. The heavier sequence still follow the combination of Nu Metal-ish vibes together with obvious and heavy Djent guitar playing that could already be heard on the tracks released before “My Love / My Tomb.”

Throughout the track, however, there is a progression raising the peak of the harshness of the vocals representing a more drastical state of the voices in the abductor’s head. Occasionally switching back into smoother clean sequences, these become rarer towards the end of the track which shows that the negative side takes over in the end. In between the guitar playing, noise sounds are slowly integrated and the entire situation seems to deteriorate. Before setting the stage for the final sequence, there is one last step back towards clean vocals eventually crushing in with the last heavy and furious part.

Single Release #2 – Hell


On the 2nd track, Stonside. return telling the narrative and fate of Evan who grew up in a loving and supportive home. However, throughout time, he slowly grew horribly addicted to substances. After multiple close calls and failed attempts, he caught a bus into town to get high since he was not able to drive because of having wrecked his car driving drunk. Having met with his “providers”, he was discovered on a side road unconscious and unresponsive the next morning. Presumably, those providers dropped him there because they already thought that he was going to die. Weeks passed and despite initial hope and intensive physical therapy, he never regained his ability to walk. Months passed and Evan lived with his parents, unable to maintain a job or to properly raise his young daughter, struggling to stay clean. One night he woke up, went down to the bus stop in the wheelchair he’d been confined to and caught the bus into the city one final time.

The sound on this track opens up with synths in the background and a choir that introduces the listener to the lead melody that is going to be maintained throughout the entire 7 minutes. Initially combining warmth with modern drum sounds, a harsh break occurs slightly afterwards progressing towards a very early 2000s Nu Metal reminiscent sound. At some spots it feels as if the sound of later Korn is combined with Deftones, especially when vocals also burst into furious shouting. Seemingly, older styles of music are rearranged and set into a modern frame on this track as well, since Stoneside. are capable of picking several styles entangling them in a sound that combines Nu Metal and Djent. After the outburst, “Hell” takes a halt and progresses towards a calm piano sequence again for the listener to be able to take a breath. Eventually, the final sequence of the narrative is presented in a very aggressive peak that just for some seconds even makes use of a distorted Sludge sound, eventually jumping back to the harsh sound that was present on the track before. The outro possibly resembles peace with a distant piano sound that finishes the track.

Single Release #1 – Cold Dead Hand


With the first track “Cold Dead Hand” off The Desert that was released on the 9th of January, Stoneside. tell the story of Big John from Sonora, Texas. He was a ‘shoeshine boy’ in a barber shop, Big John and Granville (the barber) were friends despite the typical small town 1900’s racism that was the norm. One day, John didn’t show up for work. Concerned, Granville went looking for him. His body was found in The Devil’s River bed. He had been accused of having a relationship with a white woman who had become pregnant and had said that John was the father. Men of deep-seated racism got to him first… sadly. In the end, it turned out she wasn’t pregnant by John.

In order to tell the story on this track, Stoneside. open up gently with clean vocals and feeble electronics in the background. Shortly thereafter, though, we break into a heavier sequence combining early 2000s Metal vocals as well as a slight Djent musical background. The track seems to progress towards a first aggressive outbreak and then finds a stop and recollection in a piano sequence with warm and beautiful vocals. From that point on, progression takes back towards a final climax, slowly finding its way back to the rage of the first sequences.

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