Stone - Emotional Playground (Black Mark) 1991
1. "Small Tales"
Stone are a Scandinavian thrash metal band. "Emotional Playground" was their fourth release and for the most part continues in much the same manner as their classic '88 debut. The band mixes mid-paced, chugga-chugga grooves and fast thrash riffs, along with shouted vocals to create a sound that may not be completely unique, but isn't run of the mill either. "Small Tales" starts the album off on a fast and furious note. However, not ever song on "Emotional Playground" is straight forward thrash metal. The band experiments with their sound a bit here and there. "Adrift" is a short, melodic instrumental that acts as introduction for thrasher "Haven". "Years After" shifts gears from fast thrash to a Black Sabbath inspired doom break. "Above The Grey Sky" is a slow, doomy song with a bit of progressive experimentation, not unlike something you might expect from Voivod. "Time Drive" also reminds me of Voivod. The album finishes off with the droning title track, which has a bit of a Middle Eastern flare. Thrash metal purists may be put off by the experimental qualities of "Emotional Playground". Personally I enjoy a bit of experimentation; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In the case of "Emotional Playground" I think it works to give the songs distinction and character.
As far as I know, "Emotional Playground" was re-released on Megamania (MGMCD2041) in 2005. The original Black Mark (BMCD 13) release is rare.