Review 2049 : Upon Stone – Dead Mother Moon – English

2024 is the year of Upon Stone‘s debut album.

Formed in 2021 in the USA, the band featuring Xavier (bass/vocals), Ronny (guitar, Vaelmyst), Wyatt (guitar, Vaelmyst) and Gage (drums) released their first EP that same year, then signed with Century Media Records to announce Dead Mother Moon.

The album kicks off with Dead Mother Moon, the eponymous track, featuring a devastating Old School sound, from the devastating instrumental to the furious ranting. We find the jerky catchy Swedish touch of Melodic Death the band sometimes plays at full speed, but also a calmer and more ethereal moment that leads us to the heady final then to Onyx Through the Heart, which immediately picks the icy harmonics and energetic blast up. The track is openly inspired by Gothenburg’s 90s violence and magnifies it with a mastery of bloody leads, as does My Destiny A Weapon, which effortlessly draws us into its charge of blast, sharp riffs and unleashed screams, ending with soothing keyboards. The band follow up with Dusk Sang Fairest and its soaring tones, much softer than the previous tracks, which are anchored in intense melancholy before exploding after the acoustic break to join the fury before Paradise Failed takes over, still drawing inspiration from their icy heritage that the most seasoned will easily recognize, accompanied by Brian Fair (Shadows Fall). Nocturnalism offers us a well-deserved moment of respite thanks to its haunting quietude, but the band quickly returns to saturation with To Seek and Follow the Call of Lions, which again couples all the most virulent elements without forgetting to include scathing melodies that effortlessly glide between double kick and powerful vocal parts. The band follows up with The Lantern, a fairly rhythmic composition that doesn’t hesitate to let rage and quietness stand side by side, mutually strengthening each other, then the sound gradually fades out to let Dig Up Her Bones, a cult track by Horror Punk band Misfits, close the album with an energetic touch that the band adopts very easily, adding a few raw choruses to its lively riffs.

Upon Stone knows its classics, that’s for sure. Fans of Swedish melodies will be delighted with Dead Mother Moon, which gives a Melodic Death a second youth, but be careful not to get too close.


Version Française ?

Few questions to Xavier, vocalist and bassist for the American Melodic Death Metal band Upon Stone.

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! How would you introduce the band Upon Stone without using the usual musical labels, such as “Melodic Death Metal”?
Xavier (vocals/bass): Upon Stone is a band that values authenticity and attention to detail above all else. We are focused on the original mission of the band to honor the past while looking towards the future.

How do you personally link the name Upon Stone with the band’s music identity?
Xavier: Mysticism and an overall esoteric mindset is what the band draws from esthetically and lyrically. The term Upon Stone conjures up images of ritual, strength and permanence which are all important and reflective of who we are as a band.

The band’s new album, Dead Mother Moon, just came out, how do you feel about it? How is the feedback?
Xavier: The feedback has been absolutely amazing. It seems listeners are just as excited to listen to it as we were to make it. The goal of the band to honor 90’s Melodic Death Metal is completely understood by everyone who has enjoyed it so far and it seems people were hungry for this sound to make itself known again.

How would you sum Dead Mother Moon’s identity up in only three words?
Xavier: Dark, relentless, authentic.

How did the creation process happen for Dead Mother Moon? Did you notice some changes compared to the debut EP, Where Wild Sorrows Grow?
Xavier: From day one of this band, goals and ambitions have always been clear and focused, and with the writing of Dead Mother Moon those goals became even stronger. After spending the first year of the band exploring our chemistry as a group the material and overall vision became clearer too. I think the material on Dead Mother Moon is a great example of our working relationship as a group and it only continues to grow and flourish.

The band’s roots are obviously anchored in the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene. How did you discover this genre back in time, and how did you learn to master this special sound?
Xavier: We had all discovered this sound many years ago as early teenagers thanks to the gods of the genre At The Gates, early In Flames and Dissection, and from the moment we heard we never stopped being obsessed with it. I think once you spend so long with a specific type of sound and style ingrained in your DNA it becomes part of who you are, and we are excited and grateful to carve out our own corner of such a legendary sound. It’s a privilege and duty we don’t take lightly and plan to do it to the absolute best of our abilities.

What was the main challenge while creating Dead Mother Moon?
Xavier: The creation of the album was quite smooth. I think the biggest challenges are the ones we placed on ourselves to keep a high standard of quality on the entire record. A strict policy of no filler and no compromises. I think we achieved that goal and we are proud and excited of the outcome.

Do you have a favorite song on this album? Or maybe the hardest one to achieve for the album?
Xavier: I can safely say the overall favorite track of ours is The Lantern. It was specifically written to be the album closer and tells a story of death and rebirth both musically and lyrically. It is by far the most ambitious song we’ve written and plan to carry that same ambition with us into future material.

Do you think you personally improved yourself as a musician and songwriter with this new record?
Xavier: I think we all pushed ourselves musically on this record and I believe it shows. Not to play the wildest parts possible but to know when to rein it in and serve the song. The subject matter and lyrics on the album are deeply personal and took much focus to execute in the perfect way. I can safely say we are all satisfied with ourselves and our performances. 

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Xavier: Thanks to everyone for checking out the record and letting us know what you think. This is only the beginning. HAIL AND KILL!

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