From northwest of Los Angeles comes Lodestone, who released one of those dream hard rock, early metal albums back in that perfect time to be from southern California: 1981. Lodestone are from the use-your-brain school of hard rock, so each of these gems features extended compositions, with plenty of changes in tempo and tone. The vocals have that slightly high pitched screamed sound that was popular in its day. The guitarist borders the early metal sound on the riffing parts, and falls back to hard rock for the solos. The lyrics actually prove these guys went to school and paid attention "Are you being consumed by the manifestations, that your mind creates for it's (sic) devastation? Do you feel the gnawing, feel the strain? No need to worry, you'll soon be insane". Not exactly "engine roars between my thighs" as was more common in those days for the style. I like the comparison to Manilla Road and Legend that I've read, not so much that they sound like them (Lodestone are less metallic I'd submit), but rather they were seeking new ideas in a tired format. A little Rush, a little Judas Priest, a little Budgie. It's all here and more. One of my personal favorite American hard rock albums from this time period, up there with UHF, Crysys, Survivor (Louisiana), Winterhawk, Full Moon, and Amulet. And it might be better than all of those actually.