Cyprus is a Greek island country with beautiful landscapes and rich culture; it’s also home to heavy stoner rock outfit known as Stonus. Formed in 2015 in Cyprus’ capital Nicosia, Stonus is: Kyriacos Frangoulis (vocals), Pavlos Demetriou (lead guitar), Nikolas Frangoulis (rhythm guitar), Andreas Apeitos (bass) and Kotsios Demetriades (drums).
Lunar Eclipse is the band’s second EP, and these guys do loops pretty well. If you know ‘Tubular Bells’ by Mike Oldfield from the early ’70s prog scene, then you’ll know that track is the pinnacle of loops. These guys may not be virtuosos that could topple Oldfield, but they have managed the same sort of smoothness and continuity to the point where you barely notice the loop. It flows, rounds itself out, and starts again.
With the opening track ‘Reflection,’ we have our first taste of a simple loop. It’s atmospheric, soft and the spoken word verses float on top with a little bit of distortion. ‘Aspirin’ becomes a bit fuzzier and rockier; it’s thick, smooth and could slide like honey down your throat.
The band’s versatility is showcased in ‘Spiritual,’ featuring a distorted vocal track that focusses your attention on the tone of Kyriacos’ voice. In doing so, the vocals really do turn into an instrument of their own. There’s an exciting little cascading scale that is over too quickly, followed by an instrumental outro with a staccato guitar loop.
‘Lunar’—the lengthiest track on the EP, coming in at just over eight minutes—floats along with clear vocals. The soft rock melody builds and falls throughout the song until it ends rather abruptly. Suddenly, it’s the last track: ‘Euphoric Misery’ is purely instrumental and unmistakably psychedelic with an expectant beat that leaves you hanging.
Stonus has given us an EP to think about. On the first listen it’s simple, on the second it’s all loops, and on the third it’s hypnotising. Lunar Eclipse is just a taste of what this band can do; hints of what they’re capable of hidden throughout every song. Will they take a more progressive approach to their next release? Will they continue creating heavy riffs? They could, and more. What we do know is, this is a band with a lot of potential and their new EP is well worth a listen.
Lunar Eclipse is due for release in October 2018.
Photo: Alexandros Peleties