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Checaine - Turn the Stone Album Review

11 Jul 2014 // A review by River Tucker

There's a real solid feel to this Checaine album, Turn the Stone. With a plethora of stonking riffs interspersed by lighter moments, these four guys from Hamilton have pulled a real gem out of the rock n roll bag.

Open Case kicks things off with some excellent harmonics from Regan Aspen on guitar. Although the mix is slightly muddy, the energy in this track is worth the entry fee alone. If you’re looking for comparisons think Creed with a bit of Alter Bridge thrown in for good measure.

Not to be outdone, Full Circle then shifts it up a gear with drummer John Bright coming to the fore. Even though a few mixing issues detract slightly; gritty dynamics and nice pauses will make this well-crafted song a real crowd pleaser.

There's no mistaking the American influence in Black Sunday, which pulls it back down a notch or two, with the intro morphing into an Incubus like chorus. Checaine combines some of the biggest sounds in contemporary rock music to great effect in this track.

The first single from the album, Time Bomb, gets down and dirty with a huge wall of sound that demands to be played loud. The four on the floor, powerful riffs and Alice in Chains influence make this the stand out track on the album.

Firmly planted in overdrive, Ball and Chain, with its moments of double bass drumming and interesting changes, works a treat to keep the rock rolling. At times there’s a bit too much going on during the breakdown though, which distracts somewhat from the songs core message.

The title track Turn the Stone starts off with a lovely clean guitar and soulful bass line that molds seamlessly into some fantastic vocals. Don't be fooled, the hard rock soon kicks in with a chorus line that will send shivers down your spine. There's also a nice synth-driven middle eight that builds into an awe-inspiring crescendo. Wicked!

Squarely aimed at the mainstream market, Undeniable is another stand out track that, with the right promotion, has hit written all over it.

The rock anthem Iron Rain takes the best from rock history and gives it a new twist. Although the American accent might not appeal to some, the powerful vocal line and delivery ensures this track is memorable for all the right reasons.

Building on a similar theme, Divided uses some nice samples to get its heartfelt message across. Although an effect makes the acoustic guitar sound a bit detuned, the key change and soaring solo make this track another good example of the bands musical strengths.

Switching effectively between clean tones and heavy distortion, the craftiness of Public Enemy is sure to get the crowd pumping. A fantastic falsetto, something many rock singers have difficulty achieving, is another good example of what Fraser Coombe is capable of. It’s hard to believe this is Checaine’s debut album with this track in particular making me want to catch the band live.

With some more awesome singing prowess, Soldier of Conformity gets its dark message across. That's where the strength of many of these songs comes from, well written and expressive lyrics that are full of meaning.

Similarly the forthright rock song Bed of Nails hits home with a touch of American rock band Days of the New to its feel. Perhaps a bit straightforward, this track needs more time to really gel.

As always bassist Billy Dickson sits right in the pocket for Diamond Eyes, building layers of sound until the bands energy is irrepressible! Another excellent guitar solo, nice harmonics and subtle effects make this song resonate at all the right frequencies.

The last track Sunfade puts it back into overdrive with some Audioslave/Shotgun Alley influenced goodness. If you like any of the referenced bands you will probably like Checaine as well.

With a dash of prog, a dose of glam and lashings of old school throughout the fourteen-tracks, Turn the Stone is sure to please rock enthusiasts of all ages. Check it out today.

3/5

Turn The Stone
View Track Listing
 

About Checaine

Checaine are a melodic/progressive hard rock band from Hamilton. They bring powerful hooks to their songs and a progressive style that keeps the music evolving and exciting.

Formed in 2011 by Fraser Coombes (vocals) and Regan Aspden (guitar), they are now accompanied by an exciting line-up of talented members that add to the sound and live show performance Checaine have become known for.

The band have enjoyed great exposure through their new dynamic single Bring Me Down as heard on New Zealand's The Rock FM.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Checaine

Releases

Symbols
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Turn The Stone
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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