Through The Stone Album Release And REVIEW! – BadassConcert.com
by Damascus Wootz, Sept. 2nd 2015
It’s 2015. “Hard Rock” is on the short list of what metalheads consider dirty words. Almost every time I click a Play button on something described as “Hard Rock,” I regret it.
Through The Stone is here to show us that hard rock can be a descriptive term, and not necessarily a warning of “BULLSHIT AHEAD.” Bassist Toby Wandel sent us a link through our facebook page to their new song “Blood For Crowns.” I clicked Play, and I was delighted to hear something that sounds a helluva lot closer to Dio than Linkin Park. The vocals delivered by Kate Prokop are excellent and reminiscent of the “heavy metal” of olde. The band kills it too, with dynamic instrumentation courtesy of Tanner Ashland on guitar, Wandel on bass, and Wes Graffius on drums, who also beats the skins for MurderHouse, who we just covered here.
Through The Stone is set to release their new self-titled album on September 11th at the Waiting Room Lounge with The End in Red, Forever Endeavor and The Clincher.
Check the event page out for the deets.
The band was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the new record so I can get you all pumped up! After a building, dramatic intro, TTS drops right into “Blind Psyche.” This track features heavy riffing and vocals that grow from gritty and soulful to huge and soaring. The band uses a lot of tension-and-release in the arrangement to keep things interesting.
“Junkie” starts out with a lurching, staccato verse, and then releases into a driving chorus. The band expands on this with the second verse. “Junkie” then shifts into a psychedelic bridge that builds back into the chorus. After a breakdown and a few musical moves that could have been lifted from the Pantera playbook, we’re into “Porcelain Eyes.”
“Porcelain Eyes” starts out with a spacey, slinky verse groove, and then slips into a chorus that is equal parts delicate, heavy, and ethereal. About a third of the way into this nearly 7 minute (!) song, the distortion kicks in, and we are treated to some heavy groove work that lays a foundation for still spacey vocals.
Track 5, “Buried,” plays with the same atmosphere as the previous track, but puts it in ¾ time. TTS stomps on the dirt pedal for the chorus, and toward the end of the track, Tanner Ashland lays into an epic, bluesey solo that fades into a slick ending with well-produced vocal overdubs.
The sludgy, sweaty waltz of “Buried” gives way to the heaviest track of the record, “Blood for Crowns,” which kicks off with a tasty drum fill. This track is representative of the record in the way that it is complex, the main taste is rock, but there are notes of classic heavy metal and rock, modern space metal, and southern rock.
The heavy waves of “Blood for Crowns” give way to “Vapor Trails,” a piano-driven instrumental interlude piece that tune-drops right into “Decisions, Decisions.”
This penultimate track flips the script on the rest of the record by building a big, heavy pre-chorus, and then stripping it down into a funky-wah guitar refrain.
The last track is a 40 second a cappella number named “Lullaby.” This one shows a different side of Prokop’s vocals, which is interesting, but I found it a bit anticlimactic.
Overall, this is a very solid record. The band is fantastic, and the members use their instruments creatively. This is definitely not a “rock by numbers” album. There are not huge variations in tempo or tone, but the skillful arrangements keep you listening.
But check it out for yourself! The video below is for “Decisions, Decisions” and “Blood for Crowns” is on BadassConcert.com’s own Crank it Up Radio!
I can’t wait to see this band live, and if you haven’t yet, you don’t have to wait much longer! September 11th at the Waiting Room in Omaha.
But there’s a whole weekend in between now and then, so… …get out and pay some cover charges f*ckers!
Through The Stone ~ S/T Album... review. – Desert Psychlist
by Frazer Jones, Nov. 26th 2015
Another day and another female fronted band!
Through The Stone are a hot new band hailing from Nebraska and made up of four members... Kate Prokop (vocals), Tanner Ashland (guitar), Toby Wandel (bass) and Wes Graffius (drums). The band have been around in one form or another since 2007 and this year the band entered into the studio and emerged with nine songs of incendiary heavy rock mixed with elements of metal. blues, stoner and psych.
Through The Stone (the album) begins with a short seventeen second burst of controlled feedback before exploding into first track proper "Blind Psyche" a storming blend of old school hard rock and bluesy stoner propelled by stunning ballsy vocals and steered by thunderous rhythms and riffs.
This mix of genres is repeated throughout the albums nine tracks with Prokop's voice supplying a myriad of differing tones and dynamics over the top of a smorgasbord of metal and rock grooves ably metered out by the trio of Ashland, Wandel and Graffius, the guitarist delivering riffs and solos of superb quality and the bassist and drummer supplying an endless stream of solid beats and pulses. A strong NWOHM vibe runs through this album especially on tracks like "Junkie" and "Blood For Crowns" with their galloping bass lines and musical complexity but tracks like "Decisions, Decisions" and "Buried" show the band can mix it up if they need to. The former is a hard rock blues-rock romp that sees Ashland juggling a little neo-classical shred with pentatonic blues in his solos and the latter an almost epic doom torch song that sees Prokop give a vocal performance that is beyond belief, her voice powerful and strong one minute, delicate and fragile the next.
The album finishes with a folk ballad "Lullaby" a solo vocal from Prokop, that although at odds with the sonic bluster of the rest of the album shows that this band are not just about the riff!
If you can imagine Iron Maiden fronted by a singer with the bluesy power of Janis Joplin blended with the folky finesse of Sandy Denny and you like what your hearing then you gotta check out Through The Stone!
Through The Stone - Self Titled – Taste of Khaos
by Patrick W., Sept. 27th 2015
Track 1. Intro- The intro is quite short, though it does the trick. I had to listen to it a few times to really get a feel for it, because the track is not long. But basically it's like a supernatural sort of siren that grows, thus becoming darker, and just at the moment of awesome climax it cuts off, leaving you thinking dammit, and it was just about to get good.
Track 2. Blind Psyche- Thick and tasty riffs quickly bombard your ears in a violent yet melodic fashion. I love how the vocals intertwine with the guitar's perfectly. There's a sick yet raw groove here. It's fun, crazy, and ready to kick your face in. Hard hitting, great timing in the skins. Lyrical subject matter quite intelligent yet thrilling at the same time. The great thing about the track is that it does not stay in one place and become a mindless drone. At points it quiets down thus more harmonic vocals echoing in, at those points is quite beautiful, yet creepy as hell. I dig it! Loving this slow jam here. The lead slowly yet surely tears a hole in your soul, without compassion, but yet with an epic serenade. And just at the right moment the entire song slides back into the original hooking groove. The vocals dance over the track perfectly just as they did in the beginning. Mixing balance levels seemingly good too. The moments where the music spaces out a bit, it really pulls you in, thrilling end to a great song.
Track 3. Junkie- Your met with a grinding force of a thousand pissed off guitars, yes I'm exaggerating. Though it's still some thoroughly kick ass shit. Absolute mayhem has commenced, along with some very melodic yet completely passionate vocals. The song has an awesome yet dirty, gritty feel about it. It slings it self around jumping through a simmering rush of electricity. The sharp distortion cuts and grinds through the air like bolts of jagged lightning. The music has a moment where it quiets up a bit, a distant harmonic guitar solo and a very up front bass solo take command of the track. It seems almost like a moment of transition. They kick things into a second gear as if they've had enough, and they tear loose wrecking everything in sight. The pulsating guitars and drums becoming a maddening force that can not be stopped, hell why would you want to stop this? The song ends on the same sort of melodic flavor that the album intro began upon, nice touch there. Another great track.
Track 4. Porcelain Eyes- At first things start off sort of quiet, but then your ears are guided into an enduring and meaningful groove. Even though it's slow it has a heavy yet well drawn out presence as if it's trying to decipher it's own soul, or maybe even it's own being. The melodic yet clean strums, give it a life full of spinning emotions. The distortion is sort of fuzzy, but the heavy delicious stuff begins to trickle in like a pissed off tornado. And just like a fury of well wrapped tension the music begins to unfold more, thus delivering this bands hard grooving sound. With each pressing riff it drives and articulates it's heavy yet melodic presence even more. The music takes a bit of a march towards dull area for a moment, but things quickly change again making you even forget whatever doubts that you began to have in your mind about the music. The slow yet tasty lead solo comes about, almost on cue, though it's got more heart than normal. A sheer maddening rush of pain overtakes your ears for a moment as the music becomes like an absolute melodic assault on your senses. The passion ramps up as does the hard nosed groove, it stings, it bites, and then the pace quickens only to remind you how much you dig the fuck out of this band. Really liking the harmonic squeals on the guitar that randomly were played here and there towards the end, perfect addition there.
Track 5. Buried- The track starts off with a very clean yet beautiful and melodic intro. I love this clean guitar that strums out the single notes, it's a welcome come to the awesome and rocking erratic nature of this album. This song is almost reminiscent of some Led Zeppelin, but much heavier. Though this is a very slow song, the drums are quite well timed and VERY crisp. Things however change, the passionate vocals and the kick ass guitars lead the charge, towards dark yet heavy territory. They bounce back and forth between clean and heavy quite well, great transitioning. Very powerful stuff. The music takes on some sick melodies that push the boundaries of your own mind, loving the all out passion in this music. Things finally calm down approaching the clean guitar again and you know, you feel it, the end lingers near. And finally with the roaming tap of percussion the track ends on the slithers of a digital melody. Interesting to say the least.
Track 6. Blood For Crowns- And your ears nearly explode along with the righteous force of drums that pound into the fray for this songs intro. They waste no time, not one bit, with establishing the riffs, or the vocal melodies. This song is like a wicked dance of pride that aims to stab you in the eye without a single care in the world. The guitar riffs jump up in the mix, and then they spin around and explode on impact like a perfectly timed grenade of metal. The music is quite thumping with its rich distorted nature of destruction. It's a violent roar that always packs nasty punch. Loving that lead solo, it's a neck breaker! The original hooks spin back around to grab you just right. And from here it deliciously grinds its way to a halt!
Track 7. Vapor Trails- A sound effect simmers in your ears, it's something similar to a crisp burning flame. Though suddenly enough a clean melody strums its way towards completion, it is accompanied by a subtle yet well played piano piece. The track itself ends up being very short. But the way the song just well, dies off. That's the more interesting part.
Track 8. Decisions Decisions- Not available would not uncompress.
Track 9. Lullaby- A crisp and clear voice, beautifully open's this track. It echo's about as it tells a sad yet graceful story. No other music is here unfortunately, why? The vocal's are of course magnificent.
Overall this is a pretty good album, though not quite perfect, but definitely in the neighborhood. Rating 8/10 By Patrick W.