We are all familiar with the work of Martin Mendez as bassist of Opeth but now he is embarking on a different music endeavor with the new project White Stones which reveals an intriguing death metal oriented manifesto on the debut album “Kuarahy”.
While on “Rusty Shell” the primal energy of death metal is naturally embedded in the wicked guitar riff and the cavernous vocal delivery the lead guitar work tends to stand out crafting exquisite melodies with a dazzling prog flair.
On “Drowned In Time” the arcane atmosphere and the spacey melodic textures take you far away while later the eclectic heavier rhythmic section becomes enriched by enigmatic tonalities and sharp guitar phrases.
“The One” features another round of prog oriented rhythmic variations and the consequent interesting instrumental patterns highlight the multifaceted tonalities of the excellent guitar work while the venomous growls constantly keep alive the death metal roots.
“Guyra” continues to focus on the development of unique sounds within an obscure tribal atmosphere that makes you feel closer to ancestral legends and matches the mystical nature of the guitar melodies and the shapeshifting rhythmic patterns which showcase a compelling creative force.
With a slower pace “Infected Soul” offers darkened otherworldly melodic tapestries that emphasize the dominant role of the cathartic guitar work that will also deliver sharp riffage and remarkable proggy style soloing when the rhythmic section acquires a faster ominous energy.
The shorter final track “Jasy” definitely emphasizes the connection with Martin’s birthplace in Uruguay as the arcane vibes grow stronger due to the magical atmospheric arrangements and the glowing ethereal guitar melodies.
Even if White Stones embodies a return to death metal for Martin the intricate soundscapes of “Kuarahy” go beyond the classic approach of this genre exploring diverse tonalities and styles that thrive within a spiritual darkened realm.