STARGAZER A Great Work Of Ages / A Work Of Great Ages 2xLP Aussie avant death
May 28, 2017
March 16, 2015
STARGAZER A Great Work Of Ages / A Work Of Great Ages 2 x LP
STARGAZER A Great Work Of Ages / A Work Of Great Ages 2 x LP
*** This is a new and unplayed item, direct from the CRUCIAL BLAST shop. ***
DESCRIPTION FROM CRUCIAL BLAST:
Finally have this 2012 vinyl edition of Stargazer's A Great Work Of Ages, A Work Of Great Ages
in stock, double LP on 180 gram vinyl, in gatefold packaging with a poster, limited to five hundred copies...
Not having heard this Australian band's previous album The Scream that Tore Across the Sky
(their debut from 2005), I wasn't sure what to expect from this. I knew that the members of Stargazer were also involved in Portal, that bizarre trans-dimensional death metal outfit that I've been a big fan of for years, and they also had ties to a couple of other well-known Aussie metal bands like Cauldron Black Ram, Misery's Omen and Mournful Congregation, and that the band has been kicking around since the early 90's but has only started to release actual full lengths in the past five years. With names like 'The Serpent Inquisitor', 'Selenium', and 'The Great Righteous Destroyer', I might have expected some sort of fucked-up black metal from these guys. But while there is some black metal going on within Stargazer's dense, convoluted sound, this is something way more freakish happening on A Great Work Of Ages
that really took me by surprise; this is frantic, occult-obsessed avant-garde death metal that more than anything takes me back to the classic prog-death from the early 90's that I love so much, bands like Cynic circa Focus
, Atheist, Spheres
-era Pestilence, and especially the later Sadus stuff. Complex, constantly shifting blackened death metal that jumps all over the place as they move through these eight tracks, the sound of Stargazer an utterly unpredictable one as the musicians leap through these bizarre arrangements and stylistic spasms, and yet somehow make all of this sound seamless (if a bit psychotic), shifting from vicious blackened thrash that reeks of classic European crush into whacked angular deaththrash, morphing between Morbid Angel-esque virtuosity over into dolorous slower prog metal and racing back into these jaw-dropping jazz sections that rival anything that the guys in Atheist ever shredded out.
And as complex and progressive as this gets, the songs are actually pretty infectious, with loads of amazing melodies and massive riffs. The bass playing in particular stands out; this album features some of the wildest jazz-influenced bass guitar I've heard on a death metal album in ages, with lots of fluid high-end bass lines and intricate soloing that occasionally reminds me of Jaco Pastorius, and gives Stargazer a very offbeat fusionoid feel. This is never more apparent than on the song "Pypes of Psychosomatis", which has the band drift off into some deep, psychedelic jazz-fusion ambience. Vocal-wise, it's pretty nuts-the singer has this fucked-up gasping screech that is often heavily processed and layered, and gets pretty trippy, but a lot of this actually borders on being instrumental...there are long stretched of A Great Work Of Ages
where the vocals disappear completely and we're just surrounded by the stunning complex death metal, spaced-out jazziness and savage mutant thrash veering wildly through intense prog-like structures. This is one of my favorite new death metal albums for this year, and I'll be hunting down their older stuff as soon as possible; it's recommended to anyone into highly skilled progressive death/thrash, especially if you're into Atheist, and later era Sadus.
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