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Album Reviews : Stonecutters – Ritualistic

By on May 19, 2010

introStonecutters are a three piece hard rock band hailing from Melbourne, having formed from the ashes of the now cult band The Bengals. There are a lot of similarities to The Bengals that can be heard in Stonecutter’s debut release ‘Ritualistic’, but I’ll get to straight to the point when I say that this album shows that frontman Keith Peter-Budge will probably never reach the same legendary status with this band as he did with his previous.

Stonecutters will appeal to fans of Judas Priest, The Scorpions, and even thrash fans may find something to bang their head to. The riffs are infectious, dirty, down-tuned and sound exactly the way hard rock should, the solos are piercing and beautiful and the rhythm section is damn near flawless. But this isn’t enough to make up for the monotonous, lifeless vocals that lose all credibility when compared to some of the band’s influences. Whilst Rob Halford’s vocals soar and wail, Keith’s are relaxed, clean and devoid of melody.

Most of the songs fall into the trap of sounding too similar, and not having anything noteworthy to set them apart from the rest. Tracks that managed to prick my ears include ‘The Hot Zone’, which has the rhythm of a modern Rob Zombie track, whilst having that classic stoner sound of Sigh‘s ‘Midnight Sun’, and ‘The Lights are on but No Ones Home’, which is a more melodic and melancholic track.

The concluding track, a guitar driven yet still melancholic and majestic rendition of the classic Christian hymn ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ is a strange choice of track that sounds alien when compared to the rest of the album. I can hardly say that it ruins the album though, as the album already felt rushed and unpassionate.

Stonecutters have fallen far short of expectations. ‘Ritualistic’ just doesn’t have the passion that drives this style of music, and so this is just another Australian release that will be lost in time. 3/10

Band: Stonecutters
Album: Ritualistic
Year: 2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
Label: Independent

Track listing:
1. Electrified
2. The Hot Zone <–Reviewers choice
3. I Am The Law
4. Too Many Secrets
5. Nocturnal
6. Warning
7. Busted
8. The Lights Are On
9. Dislocation
10. Desperation
11. Freak
12. Nearer My God To Thee


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.