AlbumsJanuary 18, 20243,281 views

Upon Stone Dead Mother Moon


Dead Mother Moon
1. Dead Mother Moon 2. Onyx Through the Heart 3. My Destiny; A Weapon 4. Dusk Sang Fairest 5. Paradise Failed 6. Nocturnalism 7. To Seek and Follow the Call of Lions 8. The Lantern 9. Dig Up Her Bones (Misfits cover)
2024 Century Media Records
Our score 5

by Pete
1/19/2024

Sweden, 1995…Slaughter of the Soul is released and Melodeath surges in popularity. Washington D.C, 2003…Darkest Hour releases Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation and plants themselves atop the American Melodeath mountain. California, 2024…Dead Mother Moon is released and Upon Stone does their level-best to channel the sounds of the earlier Melodeath movements.

This is the first time in a review that I’ve stated a personal opinion or fact about myself so blatantly but here goes…I love melodic death metal. When new records of the genre come out I often seek them out, hoping they’ll have plenty of harmonized riffage, epic song writing and arrangements and most importantly will they have memorable hooks. Dead Mother Moon on first listen should’ve had all of the necessary pieces to put together a solid effort, but unlike the aforementioned At The Gates and Darkest Hour records, Upon Stone never quite gets everything together here.

“Dead Mother Moon” starts off exactly how I had hoped it would; fast. Right out of the gate, the eponymous track goes for your throat at 100mph, and shifts from riff to riff without taking a single breath. Then as suddenly as it started, the chorus comes in with carpet-roll kick drums, tremolo-picked guitars and guttural, howling vocals. But this is the first miss Upon Stone makes here, the melody that typically soars over a chorus isn’t given the space it needs to really be the highlight of the track. The problems continue on other tracks too. The songs never seem entirely put together effectively enough to reach their potential. It all seems to feel sort of lazy and just thrown together in a disappointing sort of way.

One of the bigger problems with this album is the production. Yes, the songs sound like an At The Gates, Darkest Hour and Dark Tranquillity mashup. Yes, the album seems a bit repetitive overall, but the production takes away from the experience quite a lot. Unless this was done intentionally the band would’ve benefitted from spending more time with finding guitar tones especially as they sound too damn muddy most of the time to really enjoy them. The mix sounds blown out at times, too busy and poorly executed. While the band can clearly play their instruments, it’s hard to pick things out from each other.

What makes matters worse is if you go back to their EP Where Whild Sorrows Grow, you’ll see that the band had a more focused sound. In three songs (four if you count the interlude) the band shows their songwriting chops, they wear their influences on their sleeves but don’t just copy/paste song ideas from them and the mix is much better.

Bottom Line: It’s pretty clear that paying homage to first bands of Death Metal/Melodeath, Thrash and Black Metal is not only common but (for better or for worse) it’s becoming an identity of newer bands. Certainly, we’re all capable of taking our influences and creating something of our own that we enjoy, but how far do we take them? The line between paying homage and lazily playing a tribute of sorts is razor thin here. Maybe with more exploration of other influences, and maybe returning to what made their previous EP so solid, they’ll stand out more from their peers and define their own sound and reach the top of the Melodeath mountain.


26 comments

Post Comment
GirthCrisis 38 days ago

some would say, their music isn't "the right stuff"

anonymous 38 days ago

yeah the production kind of sucks on this one.

anonymous 38 days ago

Band member here LMAO A 5??? I know we aren't Zulu but c'mon man were a solid 9.5

anonymous 38 days ago

Well I listened to it and I think it rips. The production sounds good, too. I like that it has a raw sound as opposed to the polish that melodeath stuff usually receives.

anonymous 38 days ago

This tourist listens to every big melodeath band's buttrock era. Find a reviewer who likes something outside of P.O.D. shit for actual metal reviews, for the love of god Lurk

anonymous 38 days ago

Thanks for the metal history lesson. I learned a lot

anonymous 38 days ago

Are the zoomers trying to rewrite history? Black dahlia murder had this style dead locked and darkest hour was barely part of that conversation doing ferret records metalcore circuit

anonymous 38 days ago

I listened to this album all day and it is absolutely incredible. Pete- You write horribly verbose reviews and you are a complete metal poser and know nothing about metal. I went back and read some of your other reviews and they are terrible. You aren't even a good writer. Ease up on the word count and don't review metal anymore. You know nothing about it.

anonymous 38 days ago

Still pissed Zulu didn't receive a 10.

ShadowBlade 37 days ago

This reviewer doesn't like this record because it doesn't sound like all of the basic bitch melodic death metal bands he likes. Must've been too scary for him.

anonymous 37 days ago

Yeah, this album is actually pretty solid. Cool take on a sound we don't hear much these days. Reviewer seems like he is just mad because he has never been in a band. Eat my shorts.

anonymous 37 days ago

Writer writes like a high school dork who just found out about metal for the first time. Absolute dork shit.

anonymous 36 days ago

Total robbery. f*ck lamb goat this band is amazing.

anonymous 35 days ago

This is the first time in a review that I've stated a personal opinion or fact about myself so blatantly but here goes…I'm a pussy and a bad writer.

anonymous 35 days ago

Upon Trash

anonymous 34 days ago

Not AS bad as Douche Rod's cringe ass review but still sucks really bad

anonymous 34 days ago

why'd they give this album guy that put a bunch of butt rock and dronecore on his year end list?

anonymous 33 days ago

More like UPON STOKE this band is sick!

anonymous 31 days ago

needs more leather jackets

anonymous 31 days ago

poser metal

anonymous 26 days ago

The Year Of Our Lord did this better 25 years ago. Give it up, herbs.

anonymous 23 days ago

you can tell just by the album cover this will suck

anonymous 19 days ago

The album art and song titles are awful.

anonymous 18 days ago

I love how the first lines of this review sound like they were taken from Victory Records' press release for Darkest Hour's "Undoing Ruin" back in 2005. Regardless of opinion on this band, this "review" is just proof Lambgoat should stick to misspelt headlines and their edgelord forum.

united_ninety_three 15 days ago

This band is trash and reviewer is correct about the terrible production and pedestrian ass riffs. Tons of other bands do this style way better

VottScogel 12 days ago

anonymous 5 days ago I love how the first lines of this review sound like they were taken from Victory Records' press release for Darkest Hour's "Undoing Ruin" back in 2005. Regardless of opinion on this band, this "review" is just proof Lambgoat should stick to misspelt headlines and their edgelord forum. ^lol i thought the SAME thing. Remember them comparing it to Ride The Lightning lmao;