Released: 2013, Limb Records
This is another Metal-Rules.com first. As of Jan 2014, this is the first review of a Sandstone album. It’s a bit embarrassing actually considering that this is the bands fourth album. I’m glad I could give them a bit of representation on the site.
DELTA VIRIDIAN came out in the summer of 2013 and the band is still on the Limb Records label. The quintet calls Londonderry, in Northern Ireland home, not really a hotbed of progressive Power Metal. In the past couple of years the band expanded into a five piece adding a second guitarist and switching out drummers.
DELTA VIRIDIAN has a really awesome cover with a few hidden images if you know what you are looking for. The album is a bit long at over an hour but it never feels belaboured or too long. The glide effortlessly between a variety of styles; progressive sounds, metallic tones and the infectious hooky writing of melodic metal all blended seamlessly into a very compelling sound that is hard to get right. Lyrically the album is loosely based on a 1963 Science Fiction novel called Cat’s Cradle, written by American author Kurt Vonnegut.
The guitar tone is not too raw, nor are the performances too energetic. The band does demonstrate some surges of energy in quick bursts on cuts like ‘Red Mist’ and ‘Promise Me’ but for the most past, melody, harmony and songcraft and are the hallmarks of the song. DELTA VIRIDIAN is not necessarily showy or frantic but has a composure that shows a lot of maturity in the performances. Solos are there but they are understated and restrained. There are some layers of keyboards and hints of acoustic guitar. Over the years I’ve read a number of , comparisons to this band, more specifically that SANDSTONE sound a bit like...Queensryche, Fates Warning, Iron Maiden and even Guns ‘n Roses, which are pretty accurate comparisons to my ears.
Sandstone has that element of sophistication, one might say a regal sound that is not uncommon in melodic Metal bands from the UK. Magnum and Pallas have it. Thunder and Ten have it. Sandstone has it. The band have been toiling in relative obscurity for the better part of 10 years and I feel that DELTA VIRIDIAN combined with the Limb reissues of some of their back catalogue will help Sandstone achieve the wider recognition I feel they deserve.