On their debut "Tides Of Opinion" (2006) the Northern Irish of Sandstone were as far away from progressive power metal as the Dubliners were from an advertising contract for razor blades. But since "Purging The Past" (2009 ennobled by Bruce Dickinson as "the most impressive album from Ireland for many years"), the absent-minded mixture of melodic hard rock and NWOBHM vibes has long since given way to a coherent musical cosmos. Fat riffs, wonderful (often two-voiced) guitar leads and a sovereign, highly melodic vocals make up the mostly convincing formula of the quartet from Derry. The progressive factor isn't overemphasized, but the boys playfully reach the goal well at times. Of course, Sandstone is not talking about a musical revolution, especially because the two creepy ballads "No More" and "Sleep" represent a kind of relapse into old times. Nevertheless one can without doubt speak of a really solid album.
Top Track: Fading