Cornerstone - Once Upon Our Yesterdays
Massacre Records
Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
10 songs (48'38)
Release year: 0
Cornerstone, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty
Cornerstone has returned with their new album, Once Upon Our Yesterdays, which will be released on Nov. 17th. The band has several tracks to download from their website (see link above) to give you a taste of the new album. Vocalist Doogie White (Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Midnight Blue) and bassist/keyboardist Steen Mogensen (Royal Hunt) teamed up several years ago as Cornerstone and Human Stain, I thought, was one of the best melodic hard rock albums to come out last year. It's a great album that I still listen to once in a while. The line-up for this album is the same as on Human Stain but I think the production is far superior. Once Upon Our Yesterdays is a somewhat darker album than it's predecessor and a bit more like the first album Arrival. It's not quite as catchy and riff laden as Human Stain but a solid release otherwise.

The album opener, Welcome To Forever is a great charging heavy track with big riffs and has a very powerful melodic style. Doogie's voice sounds fantastic as ever but the chorus to this one's average at best. The same fate befalls When The Hammer Falls (how many songs are there with this title?? enough already!!). Starting with some classic metal riffing, it settles in to become a solid metal track but with an uninspiring chorus. Passion To Warfare creates a cool funky, pounding heavy groove with the guitars and keys and the layered vocals fatten the sound up nicely. Hour Of Doom is another powerful and heavy track that's bursting with melody and sounds very different from Human Stain. The slower, catchy power ballad, Man Without Reason has a more familiar Cornerstone sound with it's great expressive leads, powerful vocals and catchy chorus. The Deep Purple, Rainbow influence rears it's head in a big way with the track 21st Century Man, a blistering and fast blast of guitar and keyboards with some very 70's guitar and organ passages. The title track, Once Upon Our Yesterdays, has some slower pounding heavy riffing over some clean guitar. It has a very Zeppelin-like sound with more great vocals and some ultra cool wah-wah lead guitar. End Of The World has a Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore celtic feel to the heavy guitar riffs complete with some violin for the intro and is a different feel and style than the rest of the album. Some Have Dreams is a largely acoustic track with some heavy guitars for the choruses with Doogie's soaring voice and the album ends with Scream, with it's dreamy Pink Floyd influenced intro that eventually launches into a great metal riff driven song.

On the whole, I think that Cornerstone have matured and delivered another solid album. This album is very different than Human Stain and with the style of some of the songs, you'd be hard pressed to tell who it is if asked to listen to them blindly. There's lots of variety with the songs and production wise, I don't think that the band has ever sounded better. The sound is rich and heavy and they really are starting to forge their own sound. I think Human Stain was a little better album songwriting wise and has an infectiousness to it. After 3 or 4 listens to this new one, some tracks stood out over others but none caught my attention like some of those on the Human Stain album. Another great release by Cornerstone and one that sees the band expanding their sound and not repeating themselves. It's also a lot deeper than anything they've done in the past and requires many listens to appreciate. It's still growing on me with every listen, but I still prefer Human Stain. We'll see what others have to say about this one when it comes out.

Killing Songs :
Hour Of Doom, Man Without Reason, 21st Century Man, Once Upon Our Yesterdays and End Of The World
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Cornerstone that we have reviewed:
Cornerstone - Two Tales Of One Tomorrow reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Cornerstone - Human Stain reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Cornerstone - Arrival reviewed by Chris and quoted 86 / 100
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