Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Cruz del Sur Music
If you say to me, “think of Portugal”. “Tell me now, what comes to mind?” I’ll tell youabout great sailors like Vasco Da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, the Carnation Revolution, and that they were the last European colonialists. But, as of 2014, due to Up the Hammers, I’ll tell you about Ravensire as well, the year that was my first exposure to them. In their third album titled, A Stone Engraved In Red, we’re gonna see a Sam Santos cover, and for the first time after two albums, we’re gonna see another color besides black and white. Red, which came to link the title to the cover. Musically we are dealing, with raw and passionate Heavy Metal as they like to put it themselves, with the familiar epic features that will refer to Doomsword, Omen, Brocas Helm etc. Compositions are usually expressed at mid tempo speeds for the most part, they are aggressive, guitars are not chatty, what has been written on them makes sense and has reason for existence, they have heavy, melodic riffs, whilst you will also encounter disolies very often which gives a balance to the compositions. The voice has a very nice complexion, with a controlled grizzly, that provides this epic feeling that the band wants in a direct way, while somehow referring to J.D. Kimball. Lyrically, we couldn’t expect anything diferrent than telling stories about battles and war. Although the album songs don’t differ much regarding their established pattern, for me ‘Carnage At Karnag’, ‘Dawning In Darkness’, ‘After The Battle’ stood out, the last one being a tribute to Mark “The Shark” Shelton, and, of course, ‘Games Of Titus’, which I loved since the beginning of the intro. In conclusion, I have the feeling that A Stone Engaged In Red is a click below its predocessor Cycle Never Ends. However, in general, the band resides on the same standards as its previous records musically, and why not, since it does it well. Either way it deserves the attention of the fans of the genre and not only.