Speaking to Stones CD's


Speaking to
Stones(CD)


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Incorporating influences as diverse as Progressive to R and B, Speaking To Stones musical style encompasses many different styles and genres. Bands such as Rush, Dream Theater and King’s X may be obvious at first listen but numerous plays of the CD also reveals touches of Marillion, Soundgarden and Peter Gabriel just to name a few.


Elements (CD)


€12.90


$15.90

Euro (Europe)

USD (North America, Asia)

South American customers will be charged 7.00 USD extra for registered mail.

pre order now the coming second opus - release date Nov 16


 

REVIEWS:
Speaking To Stones: Speaking to Stones
 

It sounds like an interesting combination, but new Lion Music band Speaking To Stones makes it work. Comprised of four talented musicians from New York, their strength lies in crafting melodic songs that should normally be on the radio and contain a good dose of progressive elements, often heard on earlier Dream Theater albums as well as Enchant, Wolverine, King's X, and Soundgarden.

Being a professional vocal coach, the band's singer Richard Fink IV is going to impress lots of fans with his smooth delivery and rich tonal range. At first he reminded me of a cross between Chris Cornell circa Superunknown and DC Cooper during the late 90's, but the references got more and more vague with each listen. I've had this disc for a few months now and Fink's singing style gets only better. His tone is crystal clear, but he also goes for aggressive screams in certain spots, as on the end of "My Final Sin", one of their longer songs, filled with both acoustic and electric guitar components, a distant piano theme, moody synth work, and fabulous vocal harmonies. Also, on the ten-minute progressive rocker "Shallow", which starts out as an instrumental song a la Dream Theater, Fink belts some serious high screams, adding a unique grit to his voice. The bass on this song is quite heavy, hence the King's X comparison, and both the guitar and keyboard arrangements are first class.

As much as I love and praise Fink's vocal abilities, kudos also go to guitarist Tony Vinci, who wrote and arranged most of the songs. Vinci is a fantastic player: his tone is to die for, pristine and incredibly smooth. While technically flawless, he focuses on crafting more compact titles, rarely breaking five minutes' running time, and indulging himself with long, overblown solos. That said, each track does possess a great solo, be it the much effect-laden "Still Life", noteworthy for its versatile vocal production and strong instrumental passage, or the heavier "Down", which is one of the most progressive metal tracks on the album. Vinci filters spooky guitar sounds through thick bass lines in order to mix with gentle keyboard patches and funky rhythms. His soloing on the opening cut and the acoustic ballad "Waiting for..." are some of the best I've heard recently.

Also close to AOR and radio-friendly songwriting, there are some great acoustic ballads on the CD, the second one being my favourite for Fink's spine-tingling vocals at the end. "Rescue Me" has also a darker mood to it and Fink actually reminds me of Wolverine's Stefan Zell here during The Window Purpose album. Fans of Enchant should love Speaking To Stones because they also have one foot in prog and one in AOR, therefore touching upon elements of Marillion, Dream Theater, and Fates Warning, as well as more keyboard-driven acoustic ballads a la "Close to the Sky" and "Nothing".

I'm not too fond of the cover art - it looks a bit amateurish which made me think the production wouldn't be quite up to par either. I was greatly mistaken, however. The sound is great, especially the drum sound, considering it's programmed and I would have never believed it unless a friend of mine told me.

Track Listing

  1. Still Life
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Waiting for...
  4. Down
  5. My Final Sin
  6. Close to the Sky
  7. Shallow
  8. Nothing

Added: February 25th 2007
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz   www.seaoftranquility.org

Speaking to Stones
Speaking to Stones Lion Music

by Curt Hauff
Staff Writer www.hardrockhaven.net

Comments: It's no wonder Speaking to Stones sounds like a mix of Dream Theater, Queensryche and Savatage (circa Edge of Thorns or Handful of Rain). The band lists Dream Theater, King's X, Disturbed and Sevendust among others as their influences.

Obviously, with the aforementioned influences, the musicianship is going to be excellent on this album. The hard part in progressive metal, though, is finding a good vocalist that doesn't puke all over the hard work the musicians put into the music.

In Speaking to Stones' case, however, Richard Fink IV's voice not only doesn't spew garbage, it's actually a huge asset. His voice is very full when he's singing in his lower register and very clear when he's singing in his higher register.

Another problem you find when you have incredibly talented musicians is that the songwriting suffers due to the dreaded "over-playing syndrome". Again, Speaking to Stones surprises you with strong song writing. The melodies are nice and catchy. The instruments really never get in the way of the vocals like you would expect either.

Although "Nothing" gives it a run for its money, "Waiting For…" is arguably the best song on the album. Both songs are a mellow, ballad-style, but the energy and passion are incredible. The guitar solo is very melodic on "Waiting For…" and fits the song well, which is very important, but so often overlooked.

In fact, Tony Vinci's guitar work on the entire album is awesome. If you're a guitar fan, you need to check this out. His solos are all melodic and catchy with lots of bluesy feeling. His picking is very clean. He plays lightening fast at times, complete with tapping and sweeping arpeggios, like the solos in "Shallow" and "Nothing". He also plays with purpose and at times his leads are slow and brooding.

If you like your rock with incredible musicianship, complex chord structures and excellent songwriting, get your hands on Speaking to Stones' new album. If you're a sucker for the two chords and a cloud of dust style, you'll have to find it from another band.

Track Listing:
1. Still Life
2. Rescue Me
3. Waiting For…
4. Down
5. My Final Sin
6. Close to the Sky
7. Shallow
8. Nothing

HRH Rating: 8/10

Speaking To Stones - s/t (9/10) - USA - 2006

 
Genre: Progressive Metal / Progressive Rock
Label: Lion Music
Playing time: 51:17
Band homepage: Speaking To Stones
 

Tracklist:

  1. Still Life
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Waiting For....
  4. Down
  5. My Final Sin
  6. Close To The Sky
  7. Shallow
  8. Nothing
Speaking To Stones - s/t 

Here’s a new band that is pretty much striking my fancy. STS is a new Progressive Metal/Rock band that just isn’t all about the flash in their music. It’s about maturity, feeling and emotion as well. New to the scene, but I think that fans of DREAM THEATER and the ilk will find sanctuary with this group. Comprised of three members, they take this genre to exciting and moving heights. “Still Life” is not only performed with grace, but damn I felt something inside me. Not only musically, but lyrically as well and that’s hard to do for me. The combination of going from heavy to melodic and mid paced is done just right. The transitions are smooth and never rocky or jagged, While some intricacies do exist, it’s enough to swallow and still be enthused by the songs.

 

“Rescue Me” makes great use of keyboards and harmony vocals that only add more depth and dimension to the mix. The riffs are beefy here, but are gentle as well at times when it’s called for. Once again, I was moved. “Waiting For…” is a wonderful ballad that will get plenty of attention not because it’s sappy and wimpy, but it is simply powerful and touching. Yes, it’s slow, but there is some oomph in the composition and the solo rocks. Not many groups can write a touching song and move mountains in this genre quite like STS. I should know. I have heard countless bands try, but fall short…way short.

 

This disc moves and grooves like nothing I have heard in a while. I tried to find flaws in the product and couldn’t think of any even in the length of some of the songs which are quite long, but entertaining from start to finish. All music fans and musicians from any walk of life form should dive head first into this because the solos rule, the music is compelling and you’ll be salivating for more when it’s all said and done. There is hardly anyone in this genre that can pique my interest in this day and age, but these guys did it and with great success. There is something in here for everyone.

(Online December 14, 2006)   www.metal-observer.com

 

SPEAKING TO STONES: "Speaking To Stones"

LionMusic 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
22 November 2006

http://www.rockunited.com/reviews.htm - 25nov

Hailing from the U.S of A, this energetic power-trio play a kind of Rush and Dream Theater-tinged progressive metal, the kind of stuff that switches from melodic winsomeness to utterly boring guitar wanking. As a debut "Speaking To Stones" is an assured piece of work that promises more for the future to come. To name this an absolutely stunning debut or future classic would be too much praise, but don't get me wrong, it's classy stuff for sure.
"Still Life" has some great prog moments from the vocalist, who imbues the songs with a character all too often missing in this kind of music. And with the following, "Rescue me", they have managed to get their own sound standing them apart from the million and one Dream Theater copyists around. "Waiting For" is a melodic prog journey into Dream Theater and Genesis. However in their explorations "Down" and "My Final Sin" they seem to get lost into the whole 'Dream< Theater' concept from time to time. It's frankly too much of a cover band at times.

Every now and then they do fall into black holes, missing the point and travels back into time and space. "Close To The Sky" will have you thinking about King's X and "Shallow" is perfect example of a black hole (zzz!). When they manage to avoid the above they show a lot of promise and stamina. They do have a lot of good ideas, perhaps they just need a little more time? I'll look forward to their next effort as this is indeed a band to look out for in the future to come. "Speaking To Stones - not as boring as it sounds"
 

SPEAKING TO STONES (B) Lion Music, 2006
8 tracks, RT: 51:15
[ http://www.speakingtostones.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/speakingtostones ]
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/sts.htm ]
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/ ]
Speaking To Stones seem to be attempting to bridge the gap between the classic hard rock/progressive metal of bands like King's X, Fates Warning and Dream Theater with the modern heavy rock sounds of groups like Killswitch Engage, Sevendust and Disturbed, resulting in an intriguing album of unique material. Speaking To Stones drench their music with a somewhat dark atmosphere emphasizing Richard Fink IV's somber but passionate vocals, really connecting on pieces like "Still Life," "Rescue Me" and "Down." I'm not usually a fan of programmed drums but as ersatz percussion goes it is done quite well here, although the band may wish to seek out the real thing for the next release. Guitarist Tony Vinci plays some positively blistering solos on the album, really showing that you don't have to leave technique out of music with a modern rock tag. Tracks like "My Final Sin" and "Shallow" are a bit long but give the band a chance to show off their progressive chops, while closing ballad "Nothing" is rather touching in its simplicity and sincerity. As a debut album, SPEAKING TO STONES is quite impressive and really whets the appetite for what these guys have planned for the future; definitely a band capable of catching the ear of a new generation while embracing the qualities of the old...
- Neal Woodall (MysticX9@...)


Detritus Rock/Metal e-zine
"Rock Hard With A Purpose"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Detritus/

http://www.myspace.com/detritusezine

Speaking to Stones – Speaking to Stones
 



2006 Lion Music

Highly complex, but yet simplistic

Combining AOR & mainstream hard rock songwriting with highly technical musicianship & arrangements, Rochester’s Speaking to Stones puts forth a sensibility of melodic commonplace with symphonic gusto. Laden with lush keyboard soundscapes & orchestrations, excellent guitar work within the metallic scope of things, and a soulful vocal prowess, the self-titled record features eight cuts of tuneful splendor.

Following the lines of Marillion (late-period), Symphony X, and Fates Warning, the record flourishes with the flowing, but yet heavy melodies with “Still Life” & “Waiting For…,” heaviness on “Rescue Me” & “Down,” and balladry with both “Nothing” & “Close to the Sky” where Speaking to Stones showcases their songwriting skills in many different ways, rather than staying too consistent.

The musicianship and production is tight, but the only thing that might wane some of the record’s energy is that the drums are programmed, not to say that that ruined the record, but we all know how a good set of acoustic drums really puts some balls in recordings, but then again, the programming skills were done very well, especially for this kind of music. A job well done overall.

Added: October 19th 2006
Reviewer: Tommy Hash   www.ytsejam.com


Score:

 

Speaking to Stones

'Speaking to Stones'
      © 2006 Lion Musicon Music

Reviewed by Dave Palmer www.heavymetalresource.com
 

The world of progressive music just got even brighter. Speaking to Stones release a debut album that spans almost two years in the writing process and the results are pretty stunning. What this band offers is more then just progressive rock. The music has a very nice balance of melodic sensibility. Where you notice this right away is in the choruses of the first few tracks. 'Still Life' and 'Rescue Me' have some very memorable choruses. Listening to the first few tracks, you might ask whether this band is truly progressive or just maybe a more polished AOR band. By the time you get about half way through the album with the track 'Down', the album starts showing more grit in the guitar work. You also sense at this point the hints of progressive that give this band that classification. At times I sensed a bit of Dream Theater and at others it was maybe more like Marillion. I think this bodes well for this album. There is a bit of diversity in the writing that comes across. The album never really stands still in one area and this is where it offers something for a wide variety of tastes. This is the kind of album that would have appeal to your casual rock fans who don't necessarily care much for progressive due to the flash and technicality. Good examples of tracks that have crossover potential include 'My Final Sin' which has a nice amount of depth, but never gets too sophisticated to lose the listener.  On the other side of things, 'Shallow' is the more lengthy track that keeps the progressive fan satisfied. The closing track 'Nothing' offers a very melodic track that rounds it all out very nicely. I think the quality of the songwriting on the album is very consistent. Most rock fans will probably end up liking it from start to finish. A very nicely done record.
 
Overall
 
This is a very good album that will have appeal to many different tastes. The music has hints of progressive, but could also be classified as AOR in places as well as straight ahead rock. It really shows that the band spent quite a bit of time writing it as the songs are superb. If you haven't heard these guys and are looking for a good melodic rock record with a some progressive elements here and there, this is definitely for you! Great stuff!

 
More info: Speaking to Stones Official Website ; Lion Music

 

Speaking to Stones

'Speaking to Stones'
      © 2006 Lion Music

This cd for some odd reason really didn't click with me until I was playing it in my car while taking a long drive, having that undistracted environment seemed to give me a whole new perception and appreciation for this new band. As the cd was advertised as progmetal, I was kind of hoping to be hit across the head with all the progmetal magic in one fleeting moment, when that didn't happen, I sort of felt this was just another band on the fence of prog, but not firmly in to the whole commitment. Yet here is a case where the right place, time and situation revealed the proper listening experience, and now I am a believer. Again, another Lion Music find, and oddly for a band that is of US origins as opposed to the many European discoveries from that same label.

So this 'band' was actually a conception of a few individuals, Tony Vinci (guitars, keys, etc), David Callari (bass) and some help from Steve Germano. They collaborated to create the music, but felt a need to make a band feel and soon Richard Fink IV (vocals), and keyboardist - Rich Dellapietra rounded things out. Funny that the vocals really struck me as being familiar, as Richard Fink has a very unique yet impressive voice. Turns out he was the same Richard IV, who's cd I had the pleasure of reviewing here at Proggnosis years ago (see Richard IV for that cd review), I didn't make the connection until I did some research, and ouila! Same person. His voice has all the nuances that make him a top flight vocalist, power, range, control and his own delivery. He can sound both bold, and smooth, carrying the emotional element of this band's music to the upper echelon of this style. Musically this band draws from a wide array of influences and are able to effectively piece all of these variables together for an inviting sound. As they relate these influences from the promotional information, they comprise equal parts of Rush, Dream Theater and King’s X, paired with Marillion, Sound Garden and Peter Gabriel. MIght I add the likes of Giant, Extreme, Vanden Plas, Enchant for other comparisons at any given time

Pretty accurate actually, and not any one of those more than another, but a balanced amount of each. This makes them a very likeable newcomer, as the music is powerful, articulate, comtemporary, progressive, catchy as well as original. Another thing that really stands out on the cd are Tony Vinci's guitar work, he really reminded me a bit of Dann Huff from the band Giant, or bits of Vai, Petrucci, Schon or Bettencourt.. Everytime he had a place to add a solo, or just a vibe, it was in the best of taste and talent. This music is very song oriented, yet with enough prog to keep those senses active, every song has it's own feel to it and gives off a breath of mature song writing. Some of these songs truely have lasting melodies and would have been good radio songs in a different era when more ambitious music was widely accepted.

So here is a band that is taking a new approach with the progmetal genre, sure it's familiar sounding, but very tasty. And the way they are really fusing so many things into their overall sound makes them unusual. With that and a top guitarist, vocalist and songwriting team, this cd is solid start to finish, this band should become pretty popular if good quality music is all that required. , They have that covered, it's all here.
 

MJ Brady - ProgGnosis

BAND >> CD >> LABEL >> MARK>>
SPEAKING TO STONES SPEAKING TO STONES LION MUSIC 85%

With a touch of pop, progressive and melodic rock, Speaking to Stones catched my attention first with the amazing guitar work and the huge melodies that really stuck in my head instantly! Even if you got a a progressive influence, it's really easy to understand and feel the songs. Those musicians are talented as hell and the execution is quite perfect. The guitar solos are outstanding, amazing! Everything flows perfectly and the lead singer's voice is melodic, great and powerfull. With influences like Rush, Marillion, Peter Gabriel, Speaking to Stones's sound is really catchy and the melodies are beautiful and all that with a good production. This is progressive with pop and a modern approach. That album will definitly please to fans of melodic rock and also fans of great guitar. It's well played, welldone...A+!

 

http://www.hardrockhouse.com/NewReleases/SpeakingToStones.htm

 

An impressive debut release from this US Prog Metal band, ‘Speaking To Stones’ is a project that has been in the pipeline for the best part of two years and has involved the various musicians recording their parts at different times and operating within tight budgetary constraints, hence the absence of a ‘proper’ drummer. ‘Speaking To Stones’ is an album that in addition to appealing to progressive metal fans (notable influences include Kings X and Dream Theater), might also tempt fans of bands such as Marillion and Rush to dip their toes into the prog metal waters.  

Proving himself to be a guitarist of some note, Tony Vinci demonstrates a variety of styles; the evocative intro’s used on ‘Still Life’ and ‘Waiting For…’ are reminiscent of Marillion’s Steve Rothery circa ‘Season’s End’. On the same songs he later comes up with Metal riffs that would not have been out of place on Porcupine Tree’s ‘Deadwing’ album. After the band initially recorded three songs together, Vinci is the man really responsible for keeping the whole project moving forwards by writing additional material; bassist Dave Callari and vocalist Richard Fink IV returning to write and record their parts at later intervals. Fink has got a harder, raw edge to his voice than vocalists such as James LaBrie, although he is still able to inject an appropriate sense of melody and harmony, particularly on ‘My Final Sin’ and ‘Shallow’. Stretching out to almost ten minutes ‘Shallow’ provides the opportunity for some extended instrumental work, Vinci almost indulging in some Malmsteen-tinged soloing towards the end but managing to rein himself in just in time. The album closes with the ballad ‘Nothing’, a sombre and melancholy piece that slows down the tempo with Fink again providing a fine vocal performance. (“I feel Nothing any more / I am Nothing any more”). 

The sporadic nature of the recording sessions does give a somewhat disjointed feel to the album on occasion and you don’t really get the feeling that this is truly a “band” album; inevitably, the whole thing would have seemed more complete had a drummer been used. However, this is should not detract from the fact that, under the circumstances, this is a profound debut release. Hopefully, it will achieve enough interest for Speaking To Stones to be able to schedule some live dates and consider recording another album with an expanded line-up.

Definitely worthy of your time, ‘Speaking To Stones’ is released on October 27th through Lion Music.

http://www.themayfairmallzine.com/cdrev/sts.html

 

Speaking To Stones are the latest addition to the rapidly growing Lion Music roster.  This three-piece progressive ensemble started life back in 2004 when founders Tony Vinci, David Callari and Steve Germano set about bringing an intense progressive sound in to what some would see as an unholy alliance with the more modern popular sound scope, with the vocals being completed by Richard Fink IV. 

The album itself has been a labour of some two years with some of the material dating back to when the band were first formed.  The album has finally sees the light of day later this year.

The album opens up at a gentle pace with ‘Still Life’ and from the off the labour of those years is here for all to hear in all its splendour and grace.  This isn’t just another relentless progressive album that remixes old values and mindsets about the whole progressive genre, this album brings new life into the genre by mixing the modern elements of the bands influences like Kings X and Dream Theater and the obvious soundings of Rush, and wrapping them in the Speaking To Stones package.

The album continues with ‘Rescue Me’, a more hard edged track which features a heavier bass perhaps more accustomed to the new breed of young metal bands rather than a prog band  This goes some way further towards the bands idea of creating a more fused sound between the traditional and the new.

Where as the next track ‘Waiting For …’ is more melodic than progressive and shows the very eclectic nature of the bands sound.  The band go for an altogether heavier sound and takes on the Dream Theater approach to progressive rock with ‘Down’, a much heavier track than the previous songs.

The band continue the Dream Theater likeness with the riff laden ‘My Final Sin’, before slowing things down a little with ‘Close To The Sky’ and the haunting melodies of ‘Shallow’, before closing the album with the semi acoustic feel of ‘Nothing’, which again highlights the band more modern sound.

To try and pigeon-hole this band in the progressive genre is a little harsh, yes there are progressive elements to the whole Speaking In Stones sound but they are much more than just that, and finding a genre to put them in is hard to do, so I won't even attempt to do so.  What we have here is a good eclectic mix of genres that I defy anyone to put a label on. 

 

http://www.metal-revolution.com/plugins/content/content.php?content.263

 

It is first time ever that I hear of Speaking to Stones. The band has existed since 2004 I believe and this is their self titled album Speaking to Stones released through Lion Music. The band incorporated many diverse influences but reminds me most of acts such Dream Theater, Rush, Marillion, King Crimson and Soundgarden. To say that their music is purely progressive rock is not quite accurate because many groovier, technical and even melodic metal parts are incorporated in their music. You may now think it is very complex, but actually it is very approachable. Only ‘negative’ thing I can say is the fact that those 8 songs are quite long and actually it started to be boring towards the end, because not so much variation is noticeable there. On the other hand, this trio from US is showing us that they are able to master their instruments very well. Esp. the guitar work of frontman Tony Vinci is incredible and catchy. Favourite tracks worth checking are: “Waiting for…” and closing one “Nothing”.

 

SPEAKING TO STONES Lion Music (2006) www.lionmusic.com

 

   US based band who formed in 2004 and they produced a very listenable and accomplished debut. Although aimed at the progressive market and vocally Richard Fink IV is not a million miles away in sound to Geoff Tate, songs like ‘Rescue Me’ could easily appeal to the emo crowd, this tune is similar to Dashboard Confessional on the latter’s new album. Mind you a complete about face with the bombastic drums and time changes on ‘Down’ which is a prog fans delight. ‘Nothing’ which closes the album, again is a song you could see appealing to a younger audience if given the exposure. Fans of Queensryche, Rush and Dashboard Confessional will surely enjoy this album.

   An album to keep coming back to and strangely for a band with progressive leanings they sound better on their shorter numbers, than the nine and ten minute epics.

 

***1/2

Jason Ritchie

 

SPEAKING TO STONES: Speaking To Stones
Lion Music 2006

 

The Atomic Chaser 

Speaking To Stones defies musical categorization. With their self-titled debut release, Speaking To Stones have created their own fingerprints to a sound that is as melodic as it is challenging. Not only do they possess nearly inhuman, stop-on-a-dime chops, but they can breakdown into a groove that would make any self-respecting jam band green with envy. The band features a group of gifted and highly talented musicians in the form of, Tony Vinci on guitars, keyboards, drum programming and guitar synth, Richard IV on vocals, David Callari on bass, drum programming and vocals rounding out the band is Rich Dellapietra on keyboards. Speaking To Stones can carry a melody, surround their song's with hooks, big crunchy chords and catchy riffs, plus they play with emotion. They do this by never allowing technical flash to overwhelm their songs. There's substance under the style, in the form of ear-catching riffs and aggressive rhythms. The opening "Still Life" is, quite simply, a great song, from its sparse introduction to its heavy-duty main riff to its memorable lyrics. All eight songs on this CD are powerful and will move you in their own way. When it comes down to it, Speaking To Stones is a band that must not be overlooked. Their music is intelligent and accessible. A musical sound will appeal not only to metal enthusiasts and twenty-something dark wave fans, but will also fit in with today's more adventurous alternative station playlists. Speaking To Stones have created a musical masterpiece that comes highly recommended. If you like great musicianship, combined with great songwriting, this is a must-have. Don't pass this up. The Atomic Chaser

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=99434096

Past and Present webzine

 

I think for every second progmetal album I review, either the press-release states that the band is Dream Theater-influenced or they actually sound like Dream Theater. In Speaking To Stones' (great name by the way) case both things are true. Dream Theater definitely have a lot to answer for. But these guys are no copycats, however, also mixing in a little groovy hard rock and lighter progrock (read Marillion, Rush etc.) along the way. These guys might not quite be the next progmetal sensation, but their self-titled album is a work well done nonetheless. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from these guys.

 

 

http://www.thedarkesthours.com/reviews/testreview.php?id=1781

 

With a touch of pop, progressive and melodic rock, Speaking to Stones catched my attention first with the amazing guitar work and the huge melodies that really stuck in my head instantly! Even if you got a a progressive influence, it's really easy to understand and feel the songs. Those musicians are talented as hell and the execution is quite perfect. The guitar solos are outstanding, amazing! Everything flows perfectly and the lead singer's voice is melodic, great and powerfull. With influences like Rush, Marillion, Peter Gabriel, Speaking to Stones's sound is really catchy and the melodies are beautiful and all that with a good production. This is progressive with pop and a modern approach. That album will definitly please to fans of melodic rock and also fans of great guitar. It's well played, welldone...A+!

 

 

http://www.heavymetalresource.com/reviews353.html

 

Reviewed by Dave Palmer

 

The world of progressive music just got even brighter. Speaking to Stones release a debut album that spans almost two years in the writing process and the results are pretty stunning. What this band offers is more then just progressive rock. The music has a very nice balance of melodic sensibility. Where you notice this right away is in the choruses of the first few tracks. 'Still Life' and 'Rescue Me' have some very memorable choruses. Listening to the first few tracks, you might ask whether this band is truly progressive or just maybe a more polished AOR band. By the time you get about half way through the album with the track 'Down', the album starts showing more grit in the guitar work. You also sense at this point the hints of progressive that give this band that classification. At times I sensed a bit of Dream Theater and at others it was maybe more like Marillion. I think this bodes well for this album. There is a bit of diversity in the writing that comes across. The album never really stands still in one area and this is where it offers something for a wide variety of tastes. This is the kind of album that would have appeal to your casual rock fans who don't necessarily care much for progressive due to the flash and technicality. Good examples of tracks that have crossover potential include 'My Final Sin' which has a nice amount of depth, but never gets too sophisticated to lose the listener.  On the other side of things, 'Shallow' is the more lengthy track that keeps the progressive fan satisfied. The closing track 'Nothing' offers a very melodic track that rounds it all out very nicely. I think the quality of the songwriting on the album is very consistent. Most rock fans will probably end up liking it from start to finish. A very nicely done record.

 

Overall

This is a very good album that will have appeal to many different tastes. The music has hints of progressive, but could also be classified as AOR in places as well as straight ahead rock. It really shows that the band spent quite a bit of time writing it as the songs are superb. If you haven't heard these guys and are looking for a good melodic rock record with a some progressive elements here and there, this is definitely for you! Great stuff!

 

 

http://www.ytsejam.com/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=1071


Highly complex, but yet simplistic

Combining AOR & mainstream hard rock songwriting with highly technical musicianship & arrangements, Rochester’s Speaking to Stones puts forth a sensibility of melodic commonplace with symphonic gusto. Laden with lush keyboard soundscapes & orchestrations, excellent guitar work within the metallic scope of things, and a soulful vocal prowess, the self-titled record features eight cuts of tuneful splendor.

Following the lines of Marillion (late-period), Symphony X, and Fates Warning, the record flourishes with the flowing, but yet heavy melodies with “Still Life” & “Waiting For…,” heaviness on “Rescue Me” & “Down,” and balladry with both “Nothing” & “Close to the Sky” where Speaking to Stones showcases their songwriting skills in many different ways, rather than staying too consistent.

The musicianship and production is tight, but the only thing that might wane some of the record’s energy is that the drums are programmed, not to say that that ruined the record, but we all know how a good set of acoustic drums really puts some balls in recordings, but then again, the programming skills were done very well, especially for this kind of music. A job well done overall.

 

 

http://www.silverdb.com/MUSIC_DBCDInfo.asp?txtCDID=20340

Published on: 16 Oct 2006
This cd for some odd reason really didn't click with me until I was playing it in my car while taking a long drive, having that undistracted environment seemed to give me a whole new perception and appreciation for this new band. As the cd was advertised as progmetal, I was kind of hoping to be hit across the head with all the progmetal magic in one fleeting moment, when that didn't happen, I sort of felt this was just another band on the fence of prog, but not firmly in to the whole commitment. Yet here is a case where the right place, time and situation revealed the proper listening experience, and now I am a believer. Again, another Lion Music find, and oddly for a band that is of US origins as opposed to the many European discoveries from that same label.

So this 'band' was actually a conception of a few individuals, Tony Vinci (guitars, keys, etc), David Callari (bass) and some help from Steve Germano. They collaborated to create the music, but felt a need to make a band feel and soon Richard Fink IV (vocals), and keyboardist - Rich Dellapietra rounded things out. Funny that the vocals really struck me as being familiar, as Richard Fink has a very unique yet impressive voice. Turns out he was the same Richard IV, who's cd I had the pleasure of reviewing here at Proggnosis years ago (see Richard IV for that cd review), I didn't make the connection until I did some research, and ouila! Same person. His voice has all the nuances that make him a top flight vocalist, power, range, control and his own delivery. He can sound both bold, and smooth, carrying the emotional element of this band's music to the upper echelon of this style. Musically this band draws from a wide array of influences and are able to effectively piece all of these variables together for an inviting sound. As they relate these influences from the promotional information, they comprise equal parts of Rush, Dream Theater and King’s X, paired with Marillion, Sound Garden and Peter Gabriel. MIght I add the likes of Giant, Extreme, Vanden Plas, Enchant for other comparisons at any given time

Pretty accurate actually, and not any one of those more than another, but a balanced amount of each. This makes them a very likeable newcomer, as the music is powerful, articulate, comtemporary, progressive, catchy as well as original. Another thing that really stands out on the cd are Tony Vinci's guitar work, he really reminded me a bit of Dann Huff from the band Giant, or bits of Vai, Petrucci, Schon or Bettencourt.. Everytime he had a place to add a solo, or just a vibe, it was in the best of taste and talent. This music is very song oriented, yet with enough prog to keep those senses active, every song has it's own feel to it and gives off a breath of mature song writing. Some of these songs truely have lasting melodies and would have been good radio songs in a different era when more ambitious music was widely accepted.

So here is a band that is taking a new approach with the progmetal genre, sure it's familiar sounding, but very tasty. And the way they are really fusing so many things into their overall sound makes them unusual. With that and a top guitarist, vocalist and songwriting team, this cd is solid start to finish, this band should become pretty popular if good quality music is all that required. , They have that covered, it's all here.

 

 

http://www.pmrising.com/pm/viewtopic.php?t=3943&sid=554ca5cc4a46d560583c045eea63ceae

 

The 1st thoughts that came to my head after one listen were these:

-This sounds like prog metal, but it's not.
-That singer belongs on the radio
-Damn that guitar is crunchy
-Now that's what a KICK drum should sound like
-Geez, but they start off every song like a prog metal song
-Ballads ? No way, yeah Ballads !!!!!
-This band is actually progressive
-The melodies are to die for
-Progheads will hate this - wait, no they won't
-How come this band isn't on the radio ? They are too heavy, no they are not.
-The guitarist is METAL, the singer is modern Rock.
-Production is fabulous !!!

If you get the impression that I'm having a hard time pinning this disc down in terms of style, then you're right. Bottm line -- I love it !!!!!! This is about as diverse as it gets in terms of musical influences... check out who they cite as influences:

Rush
Dream Theater
King's X
Marillion
Soundgarden
Peter Gabriel

Which ones I agree / disgaree with don't matter..... the fact is, this band is all over the place, but not in the sense that it's a "progressive" disc that will appeal to say, fans of Seventh Wonder. This band shoots from heavy, to ballads, to radio friendly, to modern rock -- but all in a controlled way, rather than fail to realize who they are. This band wants to appeal to a broad range of fans, but as the disc goes on, I can't help but say -- " gee, Creed is on the radio, why isn't this band " .....

I'm not a huge fan of radio friendly music -- but this band really is friendly, in terms of melodies and ballad-like songs, yet they manage to stay heavy, mostly because of the metal guitarist they have, and he is METAL. Lots of programmed keyboards, programmed drums ( somoene find out how he gets that DEEP kick drum sound ), and the vocalist should easily be on modern radio with the big boys. Kids would love this stuff.

Bottom line -- if you're looking for the next Progressive Metal monster from Lion Music, stick with Tomorrow's Eve for now. If you're looking for some accessible music, that you don't have to think about, ( think Lee Z for those of you who grabbed that one ), and you don't mind the radio friendly ballads, just get this when it comes out and ask yourself why this band isn't on the radio. This band takes the word "melody" and polishes their sound with it like a nice Simoniz Wax job.

Freakin awesome for what this is ...........be prepared to hear me talk turkey on this for some time to come. Don't be fooled by the band name either -- remember how good Lord of Mushrooms was ?

www.myspace.com/speakingtostones
www.lionmusic.com/sts.htm


Lion Music -- man, they did it again. Something is in the water over there for sure.

 

 

http://www.dprp.net/reviews/200650.php#sts

Tracklist: Still Life (6:43), Rescue Me (5:12), Waiting for.... (5:25), Down (4:57), My Final Sin (9:00), Close to the Sky (5:01), Shallow (10:02), Nothing (4:52)

How easy is it to gain the interest of somebody by saying that a band sounds like Dream Theater? In my eyes it is a very tough job and you always run into the risk of getting people to believe that the band you are talking about is just another copycat. Having said that, I will try to justify why Speaking to Stones is a very interesting ensemble and - to me - one of the rising forces in the field of melodic progressive metal. The band is a four-piece and comprises guitarist Tony Vinci, bassist Dave Callari, Rich Dellapietra on keyboards and vocalist Richard Fink IV. The majority of the material is written by Tony and the rest gradually added their own building blocks to the completion of this debut album, which took more than two years to be finalised. Notice the absence of a drummer in the line-up - what you hear in the album is drum programming.

Speaking to Stones' music is described by their label as incorporating influences as diverse as progressive and RnB, Marillion, Soundgarden, even Peter Gabriel. Well I do not know if it is a disappointment but I didn't discover SUCH diverse influences. My description would be an amalgam of Enchant with Dream Theater. One could also identify elements of Fates Warning and Marillion or even Queensryche and Conception. Apart from these classical influences I also see an AOR component, which I find positive because it gives a special colour without appearing out of the blue.

The vocalist is really spectacular and the way he sounds as well as the way he sings is striking. Furthermore, it's a singer with two faces: one is very tender, that you could at times mistake as Enchant's Ted Leonard (as in Waiting For...), but the other is harsher, possibly a bit in the likes of Ark's Jorn Lande. And basically, this by default transforms the nature of the track. The guitar work is of very high quality and at times brings Douglas Ott to mind, at times John Petrucci, or to go a bit further, it has a certain AOR feeling to it. Very pretty and "clean" solos adorn the final product, together with the abundance of acoustic moments. The main difference in the music with Dream Theater is that there are not too many solos, no changes that seem "unexpected" - the approach to song writing is more simple, direct and...poppy. Keyboard solos are only present in a couple of instances and more as a guest, while throughout the album the synths mostly fill up the atmosphere.

Most tracks are rather short, with very catchy refrains, combining melodic singing but also some harder parts. Still Life is definitely one the best songs out there in the genre, and I more than recommend to give a listen to it in their myspace page. Some songs are more mid-tempo like Rescue Me and other are ballads, like Waiting For... and Close to the Sky. The surprise though are the two long tracks, My Final Sin and Shallow, which are more of a challenge since you clearly see the group departing from 5' song writing and going towards more ambitious and technical areas. Both are very good tracks, the latter a bit too reminiscent of Dream Theater's Home though and the former a bit too long. The vocal melodies are really well done and thus the refrains are really interesting and complement perfectly the technical solos and heavy riffs. The album closes with an acoustic ballad, Nothing, that again points to the AOR side this time of Dream Theater.

Without playing something particularly innovative or being pioneers, these guys play it VERY well. There are very few weak points in this album. Shortly, I doubt that there are many fans of melodic prog metal out there that will dislike this release and therefore this album is definitely recommended. Great song writing and vocal melodies, great guitar work and a vocalist to remember. I think that they should get a.s.a.p. themselves a drummer, depart a bit from the legacy of DT, and maybe their next work will be a milestone in the genre. Absolutely great debut from this rising force. If you are into well-played melodic prog metal with a strong catchy AOR-oriented component, you don't have to look further...

Conclusion: 8.5 out of 10

CHRISTOS AMPATZIS

 

http://www.rockreport.be/review.asp?id=1530

STS or Speaking To Stones is an American band, set up in the fall of 2004 by Tony Vinci, David Callari and Steve Germano, aiming to blend �classic� progressive rock/metal with elements of different other musical styles and genres. When Germano pulled out, Vinci (g, k, pr) and Callari (b, pr, hv) decided to go on and recorded a 3-song demo with the assistance of Rich Dellapietra (k) and Richard Fink IV (lv, hv).
What we have here with �Speaking To Stones� is the first full-length album of the quartet, featuring 8 songs, written and recorded between the fall of 2004 and last summer. To cut a long story short: this is certainly not a bad album. On the contrary, this self-produced album sounds quite technical (which is not meant to sound pejorative) and lets us enjoy a kind of highly accessible progressive rock/metal, influenced by acts such as Dream Theater, King�s X, Rush and Spock�s Beard as well as more contemporary bands like Disturbed, Sevendust and Soundgarden. I know this might come across as a bit strange, but believe me: the formula works one way or another. You�d better check it out for yourself. (CL)

 

http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showreview.php?id=8509&lang=en

Sjak: Hmm, a new progressive rock band on the Lion Music label, probably again a bunch of musicians with big ego's who more or less accidentally bumped in to one another and who are very keen on showcasing their musical abilities without writing decent songs. WRONG, Speaking To Stones is a band who has writing structured song material as a first priority and who uses this as a vehicle to showcase their excellent musical capabilities and this proves to deliver the necessary highlights.

Operning track 'Still Life' is a pretty good indicator of what you can expect on this record: a lot of variety and a good mix between the more quiet and heavy passages, a big guitar and keyboard sound and, it has to be said, very good vocals of Richard Fink IV, who is totally unknown to me. This Richard Fink IV proves to be very versatile, because he has not problems with both the more quieter material as well as the more heavier material. Other songs which are very much to my liking are 'Waiting For….', 'Close To The Sky' and 'Shallow', but also as a whole this is a pretty decent record.

Comparisons with Dream Theater are hard to omit when you're active in the progressive metal genre, but despite of the fact that the band incorporates some influences of this world-class act in his music (the most obvious in the laidback closing track 'Nothing'), Speaking To Stones has a distinct own style. This once more proves that a biased opinion based on the recent past doesn't need to be right. Every fan of progressive metal should check this out.

Rating: 84/100 (details)

 

http://www.livingformetal.com/reviews/review.aspx?reviewid=250

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

With their self-titled release American band Speaking to Stones makes their debut on the Lion Music label.  For all those familiar with the type of bands coming from Lion Speaking to Stones follows suit perfectly – melodic progressive metal featuring great vocals and solid musicianship.  Speaking to Stones combine influences from multiple sources to create a style all their own.  Most progressive metal bands today can trace their roots back to the early days of Dream Theater or Fates Warning, and even farther back to Rush, and Speaking to Stones is no exception.  However, Speaking to Stones is a mellower band, focusing their skill on crafting melodic music more accessible to a casual prog fan, rather than relying on flashiness or the “wow” factor.

..:: Track By Track ::..

Probably the element of this CD that stands out the most is the vocals from Richard Fink.  They are very clean and well executed, as well as very prominent in the mix.  Fink has a sort of sadness or longing in his voice that might possibly be interpreted as whiny, but I feel that through the sadness he gives a sense of hope as well.  This feeling might also be attributed to the first 3 songs having lyrics that deal with the heartbreaking side of human emotion.  The opener, Still Life, contains the line “Is it still life if no one knows who they are?”, while Rescue Me deals with the need to be rescued and taught some life lessons and Waiting for… tackles the subject of losing out on a chance to live life to its fullest.  Pretty deep subjects, I must say.  Each of the first 3 songs are fairly low on the “rock” scale, however, so if you are looking for a song to jump start your heart you will have to wait until track 4 Down.  With Down, Speaking to Stones add a great deal more energy into the CD.  The early Dream Theater influence becomes more apparent on this song with guitarist Tony Vinci showing he has some pretty decent chops.  The next song, My Final Sin, also displays the shred ability of Vinci and Finks darker vocal side.  Fink lets loose more on this song than others and I really dig the dirtiness in his singing.  He seems to lose the sadness and adopt an angry stance.  This is the second longest track on the CD at just over 9 minutes, with track 7 Shallow breaking the 10 minute mark.  With both songs Speaking to Stones are able to stretch their collective muscles and deliver a wonderful progressive ride laden with melody, some of the heaviest riffs on the CD and classy guitar work.  In Shallow there is also a keyboard-guitar shred fest duel before the vocals even kick in about halfway through. 

With track 6 Close to the Sky the listener is treated to the best guitar solo on the entire CD.  Vinci really rips in this one despite the song itself being essentially a ballad.  It is a mellow song similar to Waiting for… but the solo brings the song out of its shell, so to speak.  It is beautifully done and is the highlight of the CD for me.  This song actually has a Soundgarden vibe, strangely enough, although I don’t think Soundgarden could have ever pulled off such a heartfelt song.

The final track Nothing contains the best of both for Speaking to Stones.  It begins softly and ballad-like, then towards the end it gets much more lively.  I tend to think that a hard rocking song is a great way to close a CD but I am willing to make an exception for an all around great song, and that is what Nothing is - a great song.
Another element that stands out, but not in a good way, is the drumming.  The drums are programmed.  It leaves me feeling more than a little cold, and I wish they could have added real drums before releasing this CD.  I don’t know what the deciding factor was but I do hope that future releases do not contain pre-programmed drums.  Besides that the only other fault I can find with Speaking to Stones
is the fact that I just don’t feel like they rock hard enough.  I think they would have been better served had they had shown more energy and played more aggressively.  I don’t mean Slayer aggressive, of course.  That would not sound good.  I think they could add some roughness to their music and still maintain the melody showcased on their debut.  Either way, I am eagerly looking forward to future works from this band, and I recommend this to all fans of progressive metal.