The Stone - Official Website

Чујете Ли, Смеју Нам Се Мртви...

Serbia Country of Origin: Serbia

Чујете Ли, Смеју Нам Се Мртви...
Send eMail
Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: EP
Release Date: December 5th, 2004
Label: Eclipse Productions
Genre: Black
1. Ја Сам Твоја Смрт Изненадна
2. Чујете Ли, Смеју Нам Се Мртви

Review by Felix on June 4, 2024.

Every scene needs its flagships, someone who says that the other bands can enjoy their artistic freedom, but if they want to be part of the community, they have to take care for a few standards or rules. The Stone, only fools doubt this, is the role model of the Serbian black metal scene and their single (or EP) from 2004 celebrates its 20th anniversary this year in December. With that said, it is one of their earliest releases. To be honest, it shows the general approach of the band, but not yet the full potential that the guys demonstrated in the following years. I don’t speak of the underground production that almost forgets the demonic vocals. The sound of “Do You Hear, the Dead Are Laughing at Us” is definitely not excellent, but it spreads a crude atmosphere and therefore it is absolutely okay that the mix lacks transparency. It is not overly blurred and that’s the main thing.

The songwriting itself leaves room for optimization, at least if we listen to the material today, two decades after its recordings. Maybe this EP was one of some important milestones that catapulted the band on the global black metal map. However, if we compare this work with their later releases – maybe this is an unfair process, but nevertheless let’s do it – we realize that the material is less complex than their later stuff. The songs aren’t flat at all, but a few layers are missing. The Stone set the focus on comparatively straight parts and tempo variations are more or less the only game-changer here. That’s a bit sad, because the riffs, leads and lines do not fully convince. They are solid and resilient, but the band rather impresses with courage, integrity and spirit than with brilliantly designed music. Certainly, it is no coincidence that these two pieces already show many elements of their typical approach of the later years – not only the opulent length of both songs. This band evidently had a clear vision of its sound right from the beginning and this is a crucial factor when it comes to integrity.

If I have to choose one of the tracks, I would take the title track, because it houses more facets than the opener without suffering from heterogeneousness in any way. The song has a natural flow, furthermore it scores with its slow, nearly tragic part. In particular the desperate melody line that comes in at three and a half minutes lends the entire piece a fine touch of morbidity. So maybe The Stone had to fight to become the flagship they are today. But they took the challenge and they were successful in doing so. My absolute highlights of the dudes are still “Engulfed by the Abyss” and “Teatar Apsurda”, but this EP is interesting as well and a document of its time. Even 20 years after it has seen the gloomy light of a grey and cold Serbian December morning, it is worth a listen.

Rating: 7.1 out of 10