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Nine Stones Close

One Eye On The Sunrise

Review by Alison Reijman

Nine Stones Close, an Anglo –Dutch band burst  onto the scene in 2010 with their debut album, Traces, a collection of songs which drew much admiration as well as rave reviews because of the depth of emotion within the songs that were full of dark, moody soundscapes.

Along now comes the difficult second album which more than demonstrates that they have continued to develop and grow, the songs absolutely drenched in misty atmosphere and a sense of longing or foreboding. But unfortunately, this is the last time they will be heard with their vocalist Marc Atkinson who also performs with Riversea and Mandalaband.

One Eye On The Sunrise has a mesmeric beauty entirely of its own with Atkinson being able to convey melancholy and hurt like very few others – only Chris Isaak comes to mind.  It is dramatic and haunting – and having been released late last year, found its way into quite a few top tens of 2012, and justifiably so.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Faceless Angel

This starts with a wash of sound and Brendan Eyre’s gentle piano with female “radio” voice come in before a dreamy synth and Jones’ chunk y guitar create a rich melodic driven sound which then gives way to a tinkling piano.

The Secret
On “The Secret,” Atkinson gives the first hint of his vocal prowess against a backdrop of staccato guitar chords and Peter Vink’s bass. The melody is carried by the downbeat tempo and downward progression of chords.
This instrumental begins with silvery keyboards before Jones comes in with the most eerily strident guitar chords accompanied by Pieter van Hoorn’s robust drumming. The piece rises and falls as it progresses with piano and synth working in tandem before Jones unleashes a huge guitar solo.
...and dream of sleep
Following on is the short and sweet “…and dream of sleep,” which comprises simply acoustic guitar and delicate piano against a synthy wash of sound.
One Eye On The Sunrise
So comes the title track, a huge, glorious sweep of a song which builds from a jangly acoustic guitar and Katy Bell’s cello with Atkinson’s world wearing voice. From there, it suddenly ignites into an out and out powerhouse complete with Zeppelin-like guitar, the vocals powering up accordingly to meet it head on. Then, it veers from one extreme to the other – from acoustic guitar and cello to the mighty guitar wall of sound and vocals, all ending with an explosive crescendo.
There is time to draw breath again with the sweet acoustic guitar and the “radio voice” before Atkinson’s expressive voice is accompanied by a downbeat guitar.
The Weight
Further full-on guitar brings on “The Weight,” which features some delicious vocal harmonies that hint at Talk Talk. The song is weighed down with depth and darkness and all brilliantly delivered.
The Distance
This features clean and light acoustic guitars that provide a launch pad for some more soul searching from Atkinson.
Frozen Moments
To round it all off comes another magnum opus, with Metallica-sounding guitars rocketing it into life. Matt Stevens adds his guitar flourishes along with vocals from Heidi Widdop of Stolen Earth. It is a magnificently chilling song that is total prog theatre.


Then it all comes to a gentle ending with “Sunset,” simply a piano and cello restoring the warmth at the end of this terrific album.
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