With Uncharted Souls StoneLake delivers its fourth release and “a very unique style, characterized by heavy guitar riffing, mighty vocals and sophisticated melodies.” Mostly this is just tall talk of the promoter, but once in a while they are actually right. The two most important persons behind this Swedish band, guitarist Jan Akesson and singer Peter Grundstrom, met each other back in ’84 and before they started StoneLake in ’99 they’ve played together in a band called Whitelight. With this knowledge the expectations are rising, ‘cause you may expect from these experienced guys that they’ll know by now that when the text in a bio is way too exaggerated, you could easily be finished off by the press.
Luckily enough for StoneLake their bio isn’t that exaggerated at all. In fact, the above mentioned quote is almost entirely true. The vocals are indeed mighty and they truly use sophisticated melodies in their songs. The heavy guitar riffing is a joy for the ear and they know how to keep somebody interested for almost one hour. The only thing I don’t agree with is the “very unique style”. Although they don’t copy other bands, you can clearly hear similarities with, for example, Edguy in ‘(Tonight) You’re Beyond The Shadows’, which is one of the best tracks of the record by the way.
With Uncharted Souls, these four guys have created a great record, on which they prove how melodic metal should be played in the year 2008. Also production-wise this is a convincing release and it will probably satisfy a lot of melodic metal fans. Hopefully I’m able to see them live soon, ‘cause I really wonder if they can reach the same level live. ‘till then, nothing more than homage though.
02. Pain And Hunger
03. (Tonight) You’re Beyond The Shadows
05. Glory Days
06. Don’t Leave Me Behind
07. Rockin’ Down The Walls
09. Eyes Of The World
10. White Flame
11. Saint Or Evil (bonus track)
12. Wonderland (bonus track)
Jan Akesson – Guitars, keyboard
Jens Westberg – Drums
Lasse Johansson – Bass