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Yes, there is a lot to enjoy on the stone debut. But honestly it is not a very good album if you compare it to other 1988 thrash metal releases. It’s no wonder outside of Finland this album has gotten somewhat lost in metal history… Stone clone several era’s of Metallica (mostly And Justice For All and Kill ‘Em All) into songs of their own. And whereas especially the drums are remarkably good, the vocals are what you’d expect from a forgotten eighties thrash metal debut: horrible.
The vocals lack true aggression nor have they got really good melodies. The vocals, contrary to the music, do not sound like Metallica at all and are miles away from being convincing. Maybe that is for the best since the cloning would then have become too obvious to be bearable. Vocals used to be a big problem for a lot of thrash bands from those days (especially the U.K. had a serious lack of decent ones) and the same counts for Finland since I’ve read that Stone were one of the few Finnish thrash metal bands that actually got a record out in the eighties. Makes you wonder how the vocalists in those other bands sounded. Perhaps they were good and the music wasn’t? Who knows, but Stone should have definitely had a different vocalist on these songs.
What makes this album enjoyable is the catchiness of the tunes and – as said – the performance on drums and guitars. For an eighties debut it is very catchy and mature. No use going into individual songs because if you like old Metallica, you’ll like these songs. If you can stand the vocals (and lyrics) then here’s a welcome addition to any die-hard thrash metal collection.
There were many speed/thrash metal bands in Finland in the late 80's. Stone was the first finnish speed metal band to record an album. Maybe the most influential band on finnish metal scene changed their style a bit on every album. The first one is an ordinary speed/thrash in the way of (early) Metallica.
The guys were young, but their playing skills were high. Band gained much criticism due to their crappy lyrics and bassist/singer Janne Joutsenniemi's singing voice. But it was also praised, mainly because of the awesome guitarist Jiri Jalkanen and Roope Latvala, and the drummer Pekka Kasari is also great. Latvala also drew the cover, which has a little suspicious crowd, just take a closer look. The band went quite popular. Their album was released also in the US, where it sold something between 20,000-30,000. They had even a tour booked to support Testament, but Stone's involment was cancelled after few gigs.
Album contains lots of classic Stone material. The album starts with "Get stoned". Even it's intro is a classic! "No commands" is a little bit slower, but still powerful. Song increases tempo till the end. "Eat your pride" is much alike to two previous tracks. Still powerful stuff. "The day of death" has dark and technical intro. Then the two guitars throw, one powerful bass and heavy drumming crush like a tank. The song has an odd, acoustic interval section, then the tank rolls up again. "Reached out" begins a bit slowly, but quickly turns into fast thrash monster with that normal open E riff. Pre-chorus is simple with the line "fuck off and die" but it's still effective. Then they throw in a insane guitar solo!
"Real delusion"'s main riff is yet crushing, like many other riffs on this record. "Brain damage" starts with technical parts, which doesn't sound exaggerating at all. "Brain damage" turns out to be a normal Stone song. "Escape" is again a bit slower in the beginning, but speeds up again. Then the band gives us a musical surprise in the form of "Final Countdown". They play it about for a minute and in that time they totally rape the swedish Europe's hit song. It surely wasn't made seriously! The final song of the album is titled "Overtake", which has an open E riff and fast vocals. The song sounds like it's Overkill's. Then it slows down a while, for being speeding up again! Band ends up the song and the whole record in the, what sounds it's final.
Band's ability to write incredible and memorable songs is stunning! Many bands can't ever write so good guitar riffs than Stone. The music is already pretty complicated, then what happened? It complicated more! This package of speed/thrash songs should belong to every person's record collection, who appreciates this kind of music.