Pim B. : In the slipstream of British bands quite a few doom metal bands popped up in the Netherlands in the early 90s. Think of Beyond Belief, The Gathering, Celestial Season, Spina Bifida, Castle or Mystic Charm. In a town called Beilen a band named Lords Of The Stone started out in 1992. The founding members being singer André Dijkstra (at that time also active in the thrash metal band Taurus) and guitarist Henri Sattler, known from God Dethroned. Back then Sattler already had made his first steps in the thrash band Dysentery. Inspired by the works of Black Sabbath, Cathedral and Paradise Lost Lords of The Stone started forging their songs, which resulted in some demos and the 1997 full-length ‘Nightflowers’.
Those demos have now been chronologically compiled on this CD. The first demo, ‘The Rhymes Of Bitterness’ was released in 1992 and sounds like a mix between Beyond Belief and Cathedral to me. It also contains some experiments with female vocals, that aren’t really strong I’m afraid. By the way, the cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid doesn’t appear on this CD. Even a CD has time limitations and I guess in this case copyrights weigh in as well.
In 1994 ‘Diamonds In The Dust’ appears, which is their best demo in my opinion. Here you can also detect the Cathedral influence. In the same year the track ‘Fire In The Winter’ (from this demo) appears on a split 7” with Celestial Season, released by Displeased Records.
After the first demos almost the complete line-up changes. Singer André Dijkstra and guitarist Roel Dijkstra form a new band in which there is room for female vocalist Martine van Loon who had been active in The Gathering and Orphanage. Musically you can hear a slight shift towards gothic doom, which was on the rise at that time. Yet, the Cathedral-vibe remains. In the end it is a proper demo but it didn’t result in a record-deal and the band falls apart. Then there’s a phone call from the German label Massacre Records. A deal is signed resulting in the ‘Nightflowers’ album. The song ‘Wander’ from this demo doesn’t appear on this compilation because of the aforementioned restricted time of a CD.
The full-length doesn’t result in any success and Martine van Loon leaves the band. To convince Massacre to record a second album the band records another demo. But without the female vocals that were totally in vogue at that time the label isn’t interested anymore. ‘Sweet Revenge’ is sent out to other labels and released in 1998 for those interested. The band collapses shortly after. Musically this final demo reminds a bit of the more avant-garde material by Celtic Frost mixed with the older The Gathering sound with a slight pinch of stoner. So it is quite interesting.
As an overview of the material of Lords Of The Stone this is a cool CD. The liner-notes by Roel Dijkstra give insight in the development of the band. Personally I like releases with a historical perspective, even when Lords Of The Stone were only a footnote.