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Darkstone Crows - Darkstone Crows EP

Darkstone Crows - CD Review
Darkstone Crows EP

Darkstone Crows



CD Info
4 Tracks
English Lyrics

A very young, heavy metal, semi punk band, based in Canada, is making their first foray into the recorded world with the release of their first EP this month. Darkstone Crows, from Mississauga, which is on the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, will release Darkstone Crows EP, consisting of four songs full of interesting lyrics, heavy guitar and riffs, with a driving bass and drums. The songs are diverse lyrically and thematically, which may be the reason for the title.

As I stated earlier, Darkstone Crows is a very young band, both in physical age as well as the group. The band, originally named Pariah, began with rhythm guitarist, who is also the lyricist, Jiverny Marshall and vocalist Elle Martin in early 2014. The present band lineup was completed earlier this year. This included lead guitarist Adam Alexander and bassist Russ Shipman, who also helps with lyrics. Matt Skypas was added on drums. Even though the members are fairly young, each of them has prior experience performing in bands before Darkstone Crows. An interesting side note is that in an interview with Rock and Roll Canada, the members all named the band Tool as one of their biggest influences. In addition, according to Elle, the present name occurred because she mispronounced the original name chosen. The band has a very energetic sound on the EP and their live performances are also full of energy on stage.

The first song on the EP, “Hell to Pay,” opens with distorted guitar chords and a short solo before giving away to a traditional metal sound. Under the guitar softly at first and then much louder are the rhythm guitar, bass and drums. The vocals are very clear, melodic, and seem to swing between sadness and anger. There is some nice harmony between the two guitars in the interludes and two well played solos, first by the lead guitar, and then the bass. Some interesting lyrics include the following:

Listen to the words I say
Or you’ll fall away
Cutting like the Devil’s claw
These cops use the law
Hurting those he swears to save
Sends them to the grave

“Sidewinder,” the second song, starts with the distorted guitar and the bass and drums emphasizing the traditional downbeats. The drum also provides several lead-ins before the vocals enter. Once again, Elle’s voice is very clear with a touch of anger to emphasize the lyrics. While the guitars and drums continue their pattern, the bass provides some interesting short solo riffs underneath. After the second verse and chorus, the instruments become more prominent with a nicely played guitar solo leading into the third verse. Interaction between the guitars is very tight showing a lot of practice time together. The song ends with a dialogue between the guitars and drum fills. The chorus to this song is interesting which is:

In time the sands will conceal
The wounds of salt that won’t heal
Look beyond, all good has gone
Dropping bombs on Babylon

A steady, single drum beat opens the third song, “Deadhead.” Over that drum beat comes the two guitars playing short call and response between them. This leads to the traditional distorted guitar and rock like drum beat. The vocals are strong and smooth with a slight touch of screaming mixed in. Notes are held effortlessly and nicely. As in the other songs, after the lyrics end, the instruments take over with a driving rhythm guitar and drums, and featuring another guitar solo. The chorus lyrics are as follows:

Falling out from the sky
Life gone awry
On your way to nowhere
Walking on air
Hollow and empty now
The Deadhead lies
Sitting on pavement when
His snake eyes rise

My favorite song on the album is “Fathoms,” the last song which has an anthem feel to it. For some reason, this song seemed more together instrumentally and vocally. The guitars and drums seemed in sync throughout. Also, this song features some vocal harmony during parts of the chorus from the group. The song opens with guitars licks both distorted and not before the vocals enter. The drum provides the standard rock beat. For the second verse, the underlying guitar and drum beat changes to a more staccato type of sound. Before the third verse, there is a nice guitar solo played over the other guitar and drum, but then there is a sudden change with the guitars and drum. The beat changes to a nice syncopated pattern under the solo guitar and then the vocals. This song shows the band’s ability to change instrumentally throughout a song. The vocals are strong and add to the overall effect. Some lyrics to the song include:

Second Verse

Grinding the Underground, to music I am bound
On stage filled with rage, I’m free from my cage
Cranking up the amps, turning it louder F
eeling the bite in the heat of the night


Sing it to me
Scream it loud
Freaks move through the night
We feed off the raging crowd
Scream it loud

Darkstone Crows is definitely a young heavy/punk metal band. There is a lot of raw energy evident in their music and stage performances. They are ambitious as shown by releasing this EP within a year of the band forming. One drawback for from the EP is that even though the lyrics are different for each song, musically, they were pretty similar except for the one song. That may be from making it so soon after forming the band. I am curious and will be interested in seeing where this band goes both musically and energetically. For additional information on the band, please check out the following links: