The album title pronounced Kwa-Ra-Hee, is derived from the Uruguayan for the word Sun and having moved from Uruguay to Stockholm aged 17, this is one of many links to the homeland of Martin Mendez, the man behind White Stones and also the bassist in Opeth.
The writing toward what would become the debut White Stones album began during the yearlong Opeth break following the release of Sorceress and Mendez used this outlet as a way to unwind and let his explore his creativity and has always been a fan of Death Metal, clearly this was the way that the tracks began to swing toward. Having originally planned on recording the vocal himself, Mendez took the decision to scrap his idea after not feeling that it really worked and decided to use another vocalist for the majority of the album, however, there are guest appearances on the album from Frederik Akesson who provides the solos on all tracks other than ‘The One’ where the guest slot is taken by Per Eriksson of Katatonia and Bloodbath.
With Mendez providing the bass and guitars for the album along with the lyrics, Mendez begins to allow his creative juices to flow as soon as the title track opens up the release, with an atmospheric and doom kind of feel to it as the slow-paced opener builds into ‘Rusty Shell’ with it pummelling drums and slick riff over which gruff and glorious vocal growls over the top. The guitars have a Prog edge to them and the doom feeling remains with this down-tuned Death Metal.
This is the general mold for the album, punishing drum beats, chunky down-tuned riffs and the gruff vocal which produces a very intriguing and dark musical offering that can stand with the feeling of some of the darkest Black Metal. Mendez is not afraid to show his meandering creativity on tracks such as ‘Infected Soul’ and the closer ‘Jasy’ a musical interlude which retains its moody and dark feeling and closes the album in much the way it began.
As Opeth has allowed their music to progress, Mendez has allowed White Stones to become his outlet for the darker side of things and what he has created is very much downtrodden, moody and atmospheric 10 track offering of very high quality. It is certainly an album that needs to be listened to and absorbed in its fullest.
Kuarahy is released on March 20th 2020 via Nuclear Blast.
2.Rusty Shell (4:25)
4.Drowned In Time (5:17)
5.The One (4:34)
8.Infected Soul (5:59)
9.Taste Of Blood (4:10)