Stonehenge - Angelo Salutante

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Nail Records
Catalog Number: NailCD 006
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:20:00

Stonehenge was one of the surprise releases at the end of 2001 and is still going strong in the prog metal world. The band hails from Hungary and plays a dramatic, epic style of prog metal with a combination of crunching guitar, and a wall of keyboards that run from the soft, quiet atmospheric type to the aggressive synth and orchestrated string sounds. The music is melodic, warm, and can get quite involved, complex and cold at times with the blink of an eye, thus putting it right into the definitive meaning of the word progressive in metal music. The music is run at a quick pace lots of the time, but not in the usual double bass sense, just in the pace of the music - and then all of a sudden things will go quiet and progress into a nice piece of progressive instrumentation before heading back into a more comfortable melodic chorus. This is exactly what melodic progressive metal fans need and want in their life.

The band's sound is driven by the guitar / keyboard duo, in which both instruments have a see-saw / back and forth role in which is going to be the dominant sound at any given moment, and the aggressive sound is traded off sometimes in harmony, sometimes not. The guitars will be heavy / crunchy at one moment while the keyboards quiet down, and vice versa. The music runs the gambit of starting off with a quiet intro, and then fire up into an aggressive, angry, progressive piece, and then run back into the quiet area they started out in. This is a very nice approach to their music, and I'm sure progressive nuts will love this style. You never know where they will start or end, and / or how the song itself will evolve or end; this is truly well written and thought-out music.

The singer, Zoltan Batky, is really my only complaint from calling this a near perfect prog metal disc for me. I've read where others have had a problem with his tone, but for the most part he has been accepted into the hearts and ears of many who have heard this disc. He sings well, is a mid-range singer, but does have a bit of a nasally / tinny tone to his voice that sometimes takes away from the "feel" of the music, as most of it around him runs heavy and melodic, and his voice doesn't always complement the music and sounds a bit "unattached" to what is happening musically. There are other times where he sings "away" from the music, a term used a lot in prog metal in which the singer sounds like he singing a different tune than the one playing, almost as if he didn't hear the original recording at the time and is making up lyrics for the first time hearing the song. This is nothing to run away from, just a minor complaint and one that has been a valid one since progressive metal bands started popping up everywhere.

The production is wonderful - a very clean, precise recording albeit a little on the high end, but nothing to complain about whatsoever. The vocals are recorded way up front in the mix, and can be heard cleanly and clearly. The guitars are super crunchy, and the keyboards come blasting out nicely out of the speakers. The bass is audible, clear, and has a clean bottom end. The drums are heavy, not boomy, but rich and full. Soft cymbals can be heard at every turn with no problem at all. This is a nice recording.

Fans of progressive metal will want to at least hear this band and make judgments for themselves. In the current progressive metal world where people are always screaming the word "different", Stonehenge fits this bill wonderfully. There will be something in this music that will please the progressive metal fan, and I look forward to the next release of this "different" band.

Invocation (1:29) / Newcomer (7:37) / For Another (4:48) / Wendigo (6:51) / Angelo Salutante (2:13) / Angels (5:01) / Full Moon (5:26) / Whisper (3:42) / Between Two Worlds (6:09) / Rambling (7:20) / Fly (6:48) / Yellow (3:55)

Balázs Bóta - guitars
Zoltán Bátky - vocals, samples
Ádám Baki - keyboards
Kristóf Szabó - drums
Bertalan Temesi - bass

Angelo Salutante (2001)
Nerine (ep) (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin HU

Added: October 13th 2002
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 638
Language: english


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