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Stonebride - Summon The Waves (Digipak) (CD) 
Setalight SLR013 
Genre: Stoner 
Recorded: 2010 
Released: 2010 
Eingeschweisst. / Still sealed. Tracks: 1. The Phoenix 2. Shadows Like Snakes 3. Crimson Tongue 4. Mute Heart Rivers 5. Moonrider 6. Silver Ship. The second full-length onslaught from these Croatian purveyors of the heavy cosmic psych, Summon the Waves (Setalight Records) finds the four-piece Stonebride coloring outside the lines in Hubble shades while nodding at the head-caked riff crowd with amped crunch and minor-key melodicism. The psych here is dark (that whole minor-key thing) and moody, but never whiny or miserable. Rather, Stonebride play layers of guitar off each other in extended passages and occasionally go into hyper-hypnotism with sometimes too-brief moments of repetition. Head. Trip. Rock. All seems straightforward and riffy from the intro ?The Phoenix,? but ?Shadows Like Snakes? makes short work of that impression, constantly shaping and reshaping itself over its nine and a half minute runtime. Though the track begins heavy, the self-harmonizing vocals of Krnfa add complexity to the songcraft, doing call and response à la Dirt-era Alice in Chains for a chorus of ?In the arms of God/There is no shame/In the Arms of God/We?re all the same,? while Tjemisir?s guitars chug out underneath. At about the 4:30 mark, the song opens up for an extended instrumental jam that not only shows of Tjemisir?s solo acumen, but some impressive tom work from drummer Thee Steps and well-timed distortion from relatively banally-named bassist Lenny. So then you?ve got it all figured out again, and you think Stonebride?s Summon the Waves is just going to be another one of those meandering heavy psych records ? a little more weighty than Colour Haze or any of their growing legion of imitators, but making plenty of the same moves structurally ? and there comes ?Crimson Tongue? and ?Mute Heart Rivers,? two six-plus minute offerings that up the melody and heavy/ambient interchange. ?Crimson Tongue? has some megaphone vocals from Krnfa in the verse but changes to a whispery, softer approach for the chorus, where Thee Steps? hi-hat is almost a little too busy hitting sixteenths. But soon the music changes again, the guitars pick up and you?re grooving on one of those High on Fire moments where the chaos has given way to the power of the riff. It?s a suitable lead-in for the Melvins-style drum opening of ?Mute Heart Rivers,? which retains its percussive edge throughout, affecting a slow build that culminates, appropriately, shortly before the song ends. With just two tracks remaining, there?s still over half the listening time of Summon the Waves left. ?Moonrider? clocks in at 9:17, and the impressively-lengthy ?Silver Ship? is a fully-utilized 19:15. The opening moments of the former are a darker take on the ?Planet Caravan? style of soft psych rock, and it?s not until after four minutes in that the song really gets going. That might sound like a drag, but it isn?t. After all the shifts and turns Stonebride have so far made, it?s neither out of place nor unwelcome to have a quiet movement. Rather, it?s all the better to setup when the guitars kick in and you remember that yes, you?re on earth, yes, you?re listening to an album, and yes, it pretty much rules. And then there?s the ambitious ?Silver Ship.? It?s a long way to sail, nearly 20 minutes, and I?d be lying if I said they didn?t lose it at least for a couple minutes near 11 in. Some sub-tribal drumming from Thee Steps hooks the listener again while some eastern guitar and vocalizing add atmosphere to the build. It?s about as far out there as Stonebride get, either here or on Summon the Waves? predecessor, 2008?s Inner Seasons, where the longest track was the 11-minute closer ?Drag and Drop.? They might have bitten off more than they could chew, but the jam sounds natural and I wouldn?t trade the jazzy guitar ramblings at around 16 minutes for anything, especially the way they introduce the riff that closes the album. If there are two lackluster minutes in a song that?s 20 long, well, that?s 10 percent, and I?ll take it. Though it?s not known as a hotbed of stoner rock activity, Croatia has produced a band who, given proper time, touring and development, could lead the way for the next generation every bit as much as Sweden?s Asteroid has shown they?re ready to do on their first two albums. Inner Seasons was good, but Summon the Waves is better; with more character in the melodies and more confidence in the performances, Stonebride have embarked on an individualistic take on the established stoner principles that I can only hope to hear more of going forward. They?ve begun to mold the genre to where they want it, rather than molding themselves to it. From here, they can basically do with it as they will.( 
13.99 EUR