San Fernando Valley, CA band Upon Stone have announced, Dead Mother Moon, the debut album set for release January 19th on Century Media Records. Produced and mixed by Taylor Young at The Pit (Twitching Tongues, Nails), Dead Mother Moon is a nine-song blast of viciously delivered Melodic Death Metal. Having already teased with the early single “Onyx Through the Heart,” today Upon Stone share the profound, riff-filled title track “Dead Mother Moon.” On the song, the band deliver with a rawness and intensity that not only matches the influence of the early ‘90s Scandinavian melodic metal scene but exceeds it. The Steven Grise directed video for the single showcases Upon Stone’s vigorous performance style alongside occult-esque imagery. You can stream “Dead Mother Moon” HERE and watch the video HERE.
Diving into the story of “Dead Mother Moon,” vocalist/bassist Xavier Wahlberg states:
“A mortal human’s search for meaning through the practice of ritual and magic. Discovering the power and reverence of the nocturnal spirit world waiting to be gained for those willing to devote themselves to it completely. The Dead Mother Moon represents a manifestation/personification of these elements. A deity/goddess ruling over it all.”
The roots of Upon Stone twist back to its members’ teenage years when vocalist and bassist Xavier Wahlberg, drummer Wyatt Bentley and guitarist Ronny Marks began playing together in various Valley bedroom-bred outfits. Joined by guitarist Gage Goss, the band came tor full fruition in 2021 with the EP, Where Wild Sorrows Grow, released on Creator Destructor. From there, Upon Stone began gigging relentlessly, finding their audience between Los Angeles’ hardcore and metal sects, sharing the stage with acts such as Bewitcher, Creeping Death, and Vomit Forth. During this time the band began writing what would become Dead Mother Moon.
From the title track opener to the vicious “Onyx Through the Heart” to the growling melodies of “Dusk Sang Fairest”, it’s an album that not only revisits the sound of the early 90’s Scandinavian underground but also reinvigorates it. Joining Upon Stone for the feral anthem, “Paradise Failed” is Shadows Fall vocalist Brain Fair, whose band sprung from the same influences two decades ago. The themes of the album deal with isolation, loss, the search for meaning, and a return to strength, notated by emotions and ideas explored through a lens of mysticism and the occult. Throughout the eight songs, Upon Stone’s love for early Melodic Death Metal is unmistakable. Down to the album cover artwork by renowned German artist Andreas Marschall (Dimmu Borgir, In Flames), Dead Mother Moon revels in the sound that would go on to inspire metal scenes worldwide while making it sound immediate and vital.
“We made a record that we wanted to hear,” states Bentley. “If I found this record on import at a record store, this would be my favorite new band. I think it’s a good sign when you’re writing the stuff you would have loved to hear when you’re first getting into a sound.”