Stonus - Séance: EP Review
A band I've covered here before, London based Cypriot noisemakers Stonus are set to release a new EP titled Séance, comprised of three heavy-hitting fuzzed-out tracks of the bands personal brand of stoner tinged heavy rock.
Due for release on March 26th via Electric Valley Records, Séance is the band's 3rd EP and impressively is entirely an analogue recording. Following the release of their debut album, Aphasia, in early March 2020, Stonus, like the rest of us found themselves in the middle of the pandemic and forced to cancel their first European tour leaving the members isolated in Cyprus, Leeds, and London. Clearly, a rough time for the band they were forced to stay away from the activities that had always kept them together. However, just like numerous other stories we have heard since the pandemic took hold is that these restrictions would actually give the band space to reflect on themselves and thus enabled them to "connect and unify with higher energies explored through consciousness, meditation, and spiritual melodies".
This is where Séance was born, and the name now makes perfect sense. On this release the band explore their more experimental side, this both sounds like Aphasia and at the same time stands completely separate from it. The energy is the same, it's still amped up, complex and delivered with raw passion but there are some slight tweaks and changes to their sound, conjuring up thoughts of Monster Magnet, 1000Mods and The Sword.
'Evil Woman' which isn't a Sabbath cover as you may expect when looking at the tracklist, is a ball to the wall ride of groove and rhythms that instantly hit and get you moving, this track is destined to be a big hit with live audiences when the time comes. 'Messianism' is a little different in its approach and slaps a bit harder, with a chunkier bass underline and crunchier guitar framework before it hits its psychedelic inspired bulk, possibly my favourite track of the three if I was forced to pick one.
The final track of the EP, 'El Rata' is just as strong as it's counterparts, heavy riffs layered over weighty bass and pinned together with thunderous drums. This feels almost desert rock in its energy and delivery and is the most obvious example of the aforementioned experimental efforts.
Overall, this EP, despite a short run time is a hell of a ride and an awful lot of fun, a great release between full-lengths and something to keep their growing fanbase going. If you enjoyed the first album or enjoy any of the bands I've drawn comparisons to you will certainly get something out of this release, alternatively, if this is your first experience with the band it's worth giving this a listen as a sample and then checking out Aphasia.