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venerdì 12 giugno 2015

StarGazer - A Merging of the Boundless

#FOR FANS OF: Avantgarde Black/Death Metal
One of Australia’s finest extreme metal acts, these Avantgarde Black/Death metallers’ third album is another utterly bizarre and darkened blast that really gets a lot to like here. From a solid framework of Black and Death Metal up-front with the swirling tremolo-picked patterns, tight rhythms and generally dark growls throughout, while the influx of experimental passages, ambient sections with light guitar patterns and off-kilter arrangements display far more of an avant-garde edge to the music without moving it into the progressive realm. The results of this is traditional-sounding Blackened Death Metal with experimental noodling breaking up many of those arrangements with soft arrangements that are just so agonizingly slow that there’s quite often large sections of the album that go by without much interest. While it’s impressive enough to be able to play that kind of complex, challenging work the fact that they’re more traditionally-arranged material was quite fun when it opted for unique arrangements within the normal rhythms would’ve made for a more cohesively-enthralling experience instead of what happens here. As the songs themselves aren’t much of a problem, it’s really the biggest issue plaguing this one. Opener ‘Black Gammon’ sticks more to blazing tremolo riffing and blasting drum-work that effectively maintains a traditional Black Metal atmosphere before incorporating a series of obscure drum-patterns into the clanking final half rhythms for a dynamic and impressive opening effort. ‘Old Tea’ begins to fully explore the Avant-Garde nature even more with clanging bass-lines, stuttering rhythms and odd time signatures offset by the extreme notes with the unusual instrumentation furthering the experimental nature of this, while ‘An Earth Rides Its Endless Carousel’ continues that notion with light lilting guitar-work, plenty of atmospheric passages and a light-hearted approach to traditional metal riffing throughout that makes it a touch more experimental with the more traditional arrangements carry this through the final half. This is momentarily halted as the title track continues utilizing the more traditional patterns with plenty of avant-garde drumming on display while the ravenous riffing is much more of a Black Metal base blasting away with a fury here for the album’s best overall offering. The massive epic ‘The Grand Equalizer’ brings things back into the avant-garde realm with a series of overall off-beat riff-patterns and clattering drumming while offering a series of rather impressive guitar leads swirling throughout the sea of avant-garde passages and off-bent riffs, and as the length doesn’t help this one out much by letting it just drag out endlessly for ages here it really does come off as the weakest track here. Thankfully, both ‘Ride the Everglade of Reogniroro’ and ‘Incense and Aeolian Chaos’ offer impressive Black Metal tremolo rhythms alongside frantic blasting drumming sweeping through the extreme rhythms which makes for some of the more impressive works here as they tend to sweep aside the experimental offerings for traditional, straight-forward mixtures of Black and Death Metal with unique arrangement patterns that could’ve been continued nicely throughout the whole of the album here. These really make a fine lasting impression here, though it’s really more the experimental meandering that really hurts this one overall. (Don Anelli)

(Nuclear War Now! Productions - 2014)
Score: 75